Who Really Uses Sports Ties?

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A characteristic of many children’s bedrooms is the presence of posters on the wall. Sportspeople and pop stars are the order of the day and even if kids’ bunk beds obscure the posters, they will still gladly plaster every available piece of wall space with images of their heroes.

Cricket and hockey are two of the most commonly played sports on the planet, and in recent times they have seen a growth in popularity among parents who appreciate the conduct of both sports and the discipline they instil in children.

Whereas the top stars in other sports may have something of a bad-boy reputation, this is rarely the case in cricket or hockey. And as cricket stars slowly begin to compete with their soccer and rugby counterparts for poster space on children’s walls across the globe, it is clear that a seismic shift is taking place.

Another reason why cricket and hockey enjoy such popularity among parents is that they know the risk of injury is much lower than in other sports, such as rugby, boxing and mixed martial arts.

A visible characteristic of all adult cricket and hockey teams is that they wear understated jerseys on the field of play. Away from the action, their team attire is equally understated in appearance. It could even be described as business-like. Top teams are often seen wearing suits before and after matches, with the team’s crest appearing on the tie. This is another way that both sports illustrate a commitment to strong values and it is why so many parents of young children are taking note.

Apart from some of the reasons listed, hockey is also enjoying a growth in popularity as it is viewed as one of the few sports where women enjoy similar, and in some cases equal, billing to their male counterparts.

The Women’s Hockey World Cup of 2018 was attended by large numbers at the host venue of Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London. Of even greater significance, the televised games were watched by a large global audience, which reached its peak for the World Cup final. That match, between defending world champions the Netherlands and surprise packages Ireland, saw the Dutch ladies retain their crown.

Cricket has perhaps never been more popular in the UK, and in other parts of Europe, than it is right now. A significant reason for that is down to England’s success at the 2019 ICC World Cup. The tournament was watched by a global audience of approximately 2.6 billion people – a record television viewership for the sport.

England’s victory over New Zealand in the final was one of the most thrilling sporting spectacles of the year. The subsequent celebrations were memorable for the team being photographed in their formal wear, which of course included a silk tie with the national crest emblazoned upon it.

Sports ties are not limited to cricket and hockey teams – far from it. Most professional sports teams – be it soccer, rugby or American football – wear suits bearing the crest of their club or organisation. However, there is something about the code of cricket and hockey that makes the wearing of a shirt and tie seem like appropriate attire before and after games.

Before long, those posters will no longer be action shots of two players jumping up for a header, or of a rugby player breaking through to score a try. Nor will they depict a heavyweight boxer landing a blow. They will, instead, depict their cricket and hockey heroes celebrating with suits on. The change has already started thanks to England’s World Cup success.

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