Match fixing allegations have once again shocked the world by revealing the dark side of sport. While most sports ambassadors are true to the game, every now and then, someone, somewhere is named and shamed for their scandalous behaviour.
Through its online polls, Valued Opinions uncovered whether allegations of match fixing have the ability to change opinions on sports or not. Match fixing commonly happens when players purposely defy the rules of the sport by altering the game plan to suit a pre determined result. Unfortunately in some cases, the drive to earn is greater than the drive to succeed as was the case with those accused.
Looking at sport in general, Valued Opinions compared the opinions of 3 large cricketing nations to that of other sporting nations. The cricketing nations featured in the study include UK, Australia and India.
Across the 10 countries taking part in the study, the general consensus is that allegations of match fixing do change peoples opinions on the sport in question. Of all countries analysed in the online market research study, 54% revealed that they were most likely to have a change of heart about the sport as a consequence.
No surprise however, opinions amongst the cricketing nations were most hard felt, with 66% agreeing on a change in opinion. Although the online poll is not specific to the recent allegations, it suggests that the wounds with regards to the cricket scandal are still fresh and a lot more widespread. Irrespective of country, language and culture, the repercussions of match fixing are the same.
Players who were once idolised are quickly turned into enemies of the state, sports ambassadors are scrutinised by their association and brands question their future endorsements.
The reality is that the sport is only as good as the potential to sell it. The effort to increase the sports reputation through commerce takes years to achieve. Production of memorabilia, associated products and services, travel and hospitality, pay per view and ticket sales all play part and parcel to the success of the sport. All it takes is a few seconds of bad judgment to undo the good that has been achieved. It is after all the consumer who has the final say.