The Problem Of No One Betting Against Norway

Falun Sweden 2015

With Falun 2015 underway there have been some muttered comments about the results being so dominated by Norway, and strangely it’s a Norwegian doing the muttering

The Nordic World Ski Championship, this time round taking place in the picturesque setting of Falun, Sweden, has swished and slid into action with thirty six medals already won in various events spanning the winter sports of cross country skiing and ski jumping. The action has been non-stop, the excitement palpable and the results……well, they’ve been pretty much as expected, and that, for some at least, is being seen as a bit of a problem.

Norway All The Way
• Worried sponsors watch Falun 2015
• Norwegian dominance a turn off for other nations
• Limits on money discussed

The core principle of gambling is the inability of any human to see into the future and know precisely what is going to happen next. Introduce enough variables and, quite literally, anything could happen, thus we can wager our stake on the possible outcomes. Whilst this is obviously the most stark of realities sat at the baccarat table of a Chinese casino, the same lack of foretelling awareness leaves all of our lives similarly at the whim of fate.

Naturally we do all we can to minimize the risks we take day to day. We follow health-&-safety instructions, we don’t play with fire and we look both ways when crossing the street, we even look both ways when crossing a one-way street, which says much about us as a species and demonstrates, when it comes to predicting the future, the faith we have is in knowing we don’t really know. We gamble all the time, but we tend only to notice when logged into ComeOn! Sportsbook or the like.

The flipside of this seemingly dangerous oversight by evolution is that it is very entertaining to not know what is going to happen next. We enjoy novelty and surprise, the new and unknown, and yes, those of us that like to bet on sports in Norway take pleasure in the possibilities rather than definitive certainties, but that’s where the Nordic World Ski Championships steps back into the frame, because the winners were never really in doubt, and that really is a problem.

Nordic Nation Does Well At Nordic Skiing Shocker

That the Nordic nations are likely to be best at events comprising the Nordic World Ski Championships shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. They’ve the conditions and facilities, the sports involved are very popular in those nations, and, lets face it, there is quite a big clue in the name. No one tunes in to watch the Nordic World Ski Championships expecting to see the Iranian ski jumping team take gold or cheer the Vietnamese cross-country ski team to victory.

Nordic World Ski Championship

Our expectation is that nations who are replete with snow and mountains will do well, and those that do not possess these basic ingredients probably won’t. In theory this should mean there are numerous nations that are able to compete on an equal footing from Canada to Italy, from Germany to Japan, but the reality is somewhat different, and has far less to do with the fall of snow than it has to do with the rather grubby rise of corporate interest.

Winter sports, like nearly every other variety of sporting undertaking, require sponsorship for their continued fiscal stability, with corporations and businesses swapping money for association with athletes and their successes. Whether you believe this to be a good or bad thing is entirely a matter of personal opinion, the reality of it, however, is undeniable, and whilst the introduction of money into some sports has been a spectacular success of promotion, in this case, perhaps it isn’t.

The runaway domination of the games by Norway has left some wondering just what effect this overt superiority will have on the events long term, and oddly it’s a Norwegian gambling laws of economics can’t be rewritten and that the future, however unpredictable, is gloomily certain. Jacob Lund is one of the most influential people in Norwegian sport, managing sponsorship for DNB, the bank, and he sees very definite issues ahead if the current circumstances continue.

A Victim Of Their Own Success?

“This is unfortunately bad news,” he said of the medal table dominance of his home nation, “nobody else besides Norwegians can be bothered to watch a sport where Norway wins almost everything.”

And that’s the crux of the matter because whilst the popularity of the sport is massive in Norway, in the rest of the world audiences are waning, and with that waning audience so sponsorship in those nations declines, and that has a knock-on effect in performances of those being sponsored. A spiral of decline inevitable. Mr. Lund considers it “financial doping” where the Norwegians can attract more sponsorship and thus outspend everyone else giving themselves a clear advantage.

Nordic World Ski Championship

“The worst for the international sponsors,” Lund continued, “is if the media in other countries loses interest. European sponsors will not pay for something that is not being shown on TV.”

He warned that if, for example, German viewers lost interest in the competition their household names like BMW, Milka or Ruhrgas would be far less likely to be inclined to sponsor the competitors and competition, which would leave Norway in an even more advantageous position, something Lund finds deeply troubling.

“It ensures that Norway will continue going forward to have far more resources than it’s competition. However is it obvious that this also increases the risk that other nations will give up and throw in the cards.”

Which would merely attract even more sponsorship away from other nations to Norway and exacerbate the problem. Gambling news of this dire prediction from their homeland might shift Norway’s attitude a little discussions have already taken place to consider limiting the amount an individual can benefit from sponsorship, leveling the playing field a little. Of course since this involves money and corporations I wouldn’t advise anyone to wager on a change in this status quo any time soon.

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