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I have been offered a position as Assistant Venue Press Operations Manager with TO2015 for the Games!

After a day off I was able to reflect on my experience with the games. I was very priviliged to work with the organization and this opened my eyes to what I want to do moving forward. From meeting gre

Cue a Gamesbids Article saying "Bach encourages city of Toronto to bid for the Olympics, says they would host a fantastic Games!"

ESPN has carried select events on their networks in the past, with a large portion of events online. I'm sure we might see an increase in this with the Games being so close in proximity to America.

True. In 2011 though the English coverage on the main channel just consisted of a US basketball game here or a US volleyball game there. Not enough to give anybody a real insight into the Games at large. The streaming was just a simulcast of the ESPNDeportes coverage. There was supplemental online coverage on a website called Terra Sports, though which allowed one to view a whole variety of sports.

Back in 2007 ESPN started the minimal English coverage while the bulk was on Deportes (along with the online simulcast), but during the second week started to add to their coverage on the main channel, it was popping up at unexpected times and was an unexpected surprise. It was still in Spanish, but I didn't care. Given that this year's Games fall into a similar time frame (2011 was in October when ESPN was heavy with programming commitments) perhaps we will see a similar scenario. I will add the Spanish channels onto my satellite package just before the Games just to be on the safe side (and to record every second of the coverage while I'm actually in Toronto).

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ESPN has carried select events on their networks in the past, with a large portion of events online. I'm sure we might see an increase in this with the Games being so close in proximity to America.

True. In 2011 though the English coverage on the main channel just consisted of a US basketball game here or a US volleyball game there. Not enough to give anybody a real insight into the Games at large. The streaming was just a simulcast of the ESPNDeportes coverage. There was supplemental online coverage on a website called Terra Sports, though which allowed one to view a whole variety of sports.

Back in 2007 ESPN started the minimal English coverage while the bulk was on Deportes (along with the online simulcast), but during the second week started to add to their coverage on the main channel, it was popping up at unexpected times and was an unexpected surprise. It was still in Spanish, but I didn't care. Given that this year's Games fall into a similar time frame (2011 was in October when ESPN was heavy with programming commitments) perhaps we will see a similar scenario. I will add the Spanish channels onto my satellite package just before the Games just to be on the safe side (and to record every second of the coverage while I'm actually in Toronto).

KInda sucks for ESPN that they don't have the Women's World Cup or else they'd probably be able to use some of those resources for the Pan Ams. Not sure how much they'll devote to this. My guess is that a lot of the coverage will be on ESPN3 and what we see on television will probably be pretty minimal, although as noted, the location means we'll probably see a little more coverage than in the past.

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This does raise the interesting question of what would help the Pan-Am's reach relevance in English speaking North America?

I don't think there's any way forward in the USA unless a host city and NBC combine to really promote it. Even if it is hosted in the USA, if it's hosted in San Antonio and nobody watches it won't change anything. It would have to be a great city like New York, Chicago or Miami that worked with NBC and promoted the heck out of it in ads to raise American interest.

And the top American athletes would also have to commit, which raises a number of issues with the team sports. With baseball, basketball, hockey, etc it is a struggle to get the top athletes involved even at the Olympics. There's essentially no chance whatsoever that the NBA and MLB are going to let their players participate in the Pan-American games.

To be honest I find it sad that the USA can't muster much support for these games when they make a lot more sense for us. Nobody needs an 80,000 capacity track and field stadium, but there are a lot of American universities with small track and field stadiums. New York City could host the Pan Am's with only some upgrades to existing venues and a relatively small disruption of normal life there.

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This does raise the interesting question of what would help the Pan-Am's reach relevance in English speaking North America?

I don't think there's any way forward in the USA unless a host city and NBC combine to really promote it. Even if it is hosted in the USA, if it's hosted in San Antonio and nobody watches it won't change anything. It would have to be a great city like New York, Chicago or Miami that worked with NBC and promoted the heck out of it in ads to raise American interest.

And the top American athletes would also have to commit, which raises a number of issues with the team sports. With baseball, basketball, hockey, etc it is a struggle to get the top athletes involved even at the Olympics. There's essentially no chance whatsoever that the NBA and MLB are going to let their players participate in the Pan-American games.

The problem is that the World Aquatics Championships and World Championships in Athletics happen in the same summer, ruling out those high profile athletes. The women's soccer teams will also be watered down with the World Cup ending the week prior. This includes Canada's roster. Several of the events in Toronto will be qualification for 2016, so to say that the Games will lack the most elite athletes is untrue. Many events will feature the top competition competing for those elusive qualification spots. It's just the athletes that we have come to see profiled on NBC at Games time that won't be making the trip. Andrew Wiggins and other top Canadian basketball players will be competing for the Canadian team, however, so there will be stuff worth watching.

The best way to raise the profile of this event is to make more of the competitions Olympic qualification events in the top TV viewing sports. Gymnastics, Beach Volleyball and Basketball could all realistically work. Athletics and Swimming might work as qualification for relay events, but that's a stretch. I think it would need to take an American host with a decent commitment from someone like NBC or ESPN to show the Games off to Americans. Just have one channel whipping around between events.

We also have to remember that outside of Canada/USA, the Pan Ams are a VERY big deal to the competing nations. Especially the small Caribbean and Central American nations that wouldn't send such a large team to an Olympic Games, or come anywhere near a medal. It's exciting for these people to see their athletes competing for gold.

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I like the idea of the continental Games being held the year before the Olympics as qualifying events. It makes the process more logical and transparent for fans and viewers- qualify for continentals, then have a chance to qualify for the Olympics. Gives a reason for these Games as well. The PanAms and Asia Games, and no doubt the European Games are huge enterprises.

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Interesting to note, Andrew Wiggins indicated he would be interested in participating at the Pan Ams this July.

But his team won't let him, though, which means Canadian NBA guys like Wiggins and Anthony Bennett won't be playing.

It's a similar issue with golf or tennis. No ATP/WTA points or significant prize money = very few pro athletes want to compete.

EDIT: Just read that Bennett has said that he will play. That's extremely surprising, since most pro athlete contracts have language that lets their teams avoid paying on their contracts if they get hurt engaging in sports outside of their normal training and league play. IE a MLB baseball player that gets injured playing pickup basketball doesn't have to get paid. That's why pro athletes rarely play without the permission of their teams.

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This does raise the interesting question of what would help the Pan-Am's reach relevance in English speaking North America?

I don't think there's any way forward in the USA unless a host city and NBC combine to really promote it. Even if it is hosted in the USA, if it's hosted in San Antonio and nobody watches it won't change anything. It would have to be a great city like New York, Chicago or Miami that worked with NBC and promoted the heck out of it in ads to raise American interest.

And the top American athletes would also have to commit, which raises a number of issues with the team sports. With baseball, basketball, hockey, etc it is a struggle to get the top athletes involved even at the Olympics. There's essentially no chance whatsoever that the NBA and MLB are going to let their players participate in the Pan-American games.

To be honest I find it sad that the USA can't muster much support for these games when they make a lot more sense for us. Nobody needs an 80,000 capacity track and field stadium, but there are a lot of American universities with small track and field stadiums. New York City could host the Pan Am's with only some upgrades to existing venues and a relatively small disruption of normal life there.

American cities generally show very little interest in multi-sports events outside of the Olympics. Or the FINA Worlds or IAAF Worlds for that matter. There simply isn't a market interested in hosting them. And in the case of the Pan Ams, not much interest in television coverage either.

Unfortunately for the Pan Ams, NBC isn't the rights holder. ESPN is. And it would be cool for them to have the Women's World Cup that they could use in conjunction with this, but that belongs to Fox this time around. NBC is busy with the Tour de France most of July, so that takes up a lot of programming time on NBCSN. Remains to be seen how much attention ESPN will give it. My guess still is not much.

I like the idea of the continental Games being held the year before the Olympics as qualifying events. It makes the process more logical and transparent for fans and viewers- qualify for continentals, then have a chance to qualify for the Olympics. Gives a reason for these Games as well. The PanAms and Asia Games, and no doubt the European Games are huge enterprises.

Therein lies the problem in terms of timing. The best time for the Pan Ams is in the year before the Olympics. But because it clashes with some other events, you're not going to get the top athletes (not that you would elsewhere in terms of timing). So really, it's largely a non-event in the United States and I don't know if there's a way to fix that. Obviously it'll be a big deal in Canada this year as it is in other countries in the Americas. But it's probably never going to be a big deal event in this country anytime soon and I don't think Toronto 2015 will change that.

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Obviously it'll be a big deal in Canada this year as it is in other countries in the Americas. But it's probably never going to be a big deal event in this country anytime soon and I don't think Toronto 2015 will change that.

It might be in Toronto. But I used to live in Vancouver, and when I went up to a Canucks game in Vancouver earlier in the year none of my friends there had ever heard of the Pan-American Games, much less that Toronto was hosting this year. I don't think Canada cares about the Pan-American Games either.

Which is a shame because this a perfect sized event for cities like Vancouver, Minneapolis, San Diego, etc to host. The Pan American Games today are what the Olympics were before Berlin 1936. And I imagine PASO is a lot easier to deal with than the IOC.

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Thankfully, all the comments submitted speak vividly and unmistakably to the existing fragility of interest in this event which makes my original argument about the perfection that promotion requires - through the symbols that will be use to catalyse interest - a bit more relevant.

It is probable that the profile of the games may change and particularly this year. Incidentally, several American Networks indexed Toronto as a Summer hotspot for 2015 because of the games. It is, therefore, practical for the Toronto organizers to exploit that, should they have the strategic creativity to do so. Hopefully, not resorting to the talent that designed the torch.

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But his team won't let him, though, which means Canadian NBA guys like Wiggins and Anthony Bennett won't be playing.

It's a similar issue with golf or tennis. No ATP/WTA points or significant prize money = very few pro athletes want to compete.

EDIT: Just read that Bennett has said that he will play. That's extremely surprising, since most pro athlete contracts have language that lets their teams avoid paying on their contracts if they get hurt engaging in sports outside of their normal training and league play. IE a MLB baseball player that gets injured playing pickup basketball doesn't have to get paid. That's why pro athletes rarely play without the permission of their teams.

Yea the British Open is scheduled for the exact same weekend as the games. So many of the best golfers won't be here.

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Yea the British Open is scheduled for the exact same weekend as the games. So many of the best golfers won't be here.

To make matters worse, because the British Open features so many European Tour players, the PGA Tour usually schedules a second event on the same weekend for the regular tour players who didn't qualify for the Open. Therefore the Pan Am Games will have two tournaments to compete with that weekend. We will likely see only amateurs competing.

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To make matters worse, because the British Open features so many European Tour players, the PGA Tour usually schedules a second event on the same weekend for the regular tour players who didn't qualify for the Open. Therefore the Pan Am Games will have two tournaments to compete with that weekend. We will likely see only amateurs competing.

It got mentioned earlier.. the tennis tournament also coincides with the final weekend of Wimbledon. So none of the top tennis players will be there. Canada ironically has a date in the Davis Cup in mid-July, but it will be played in Belgium. Worth noting that in 2011 (when the Pan Ams were in October, well clear of the US Open), of the 3 women's singles medalists, none has ever made it past the 4th round of a Grand Slam (before or after). And the men's gold medalist has only qualified for a slam once and he lost in the 1st round.

So therein lies the problem. How can you expect people to take an event seriously when many of the top athletes in their respective sports aren't in attendance. And yes, I know this applies mostly to Canada and the United States since many other countries are sending their best (the Brazilians in particular were outstanding in swimming in 2011 and will look to repeat that performance in advance of Rio).

Again, not sure there's a solution. It's a tough sell. Not sure what the organizers can do, particularly when the event almost immediately follows the Women's World Cup. Don't know how they properly promote the event, although is obvious that the biggest hurdle they have to overcome is a lack of big-name athletes and NOT the fact that the torch is not aesthetically pleasing enough.

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It got mentioned earlier.. the tennis tournament also coincides with the final weekend of Wimbledon. So none of the top tennis players will be there. Canada ironically has a date in the Davis Cup in mid-July, but it will be played in Belgium. Worth noting that in 2011 (when the Pan Ams were in October, well clear of the US Open), of the 3 women's singles medalists, none has ever made it past the 4th round of a Grand Slam (before or after). And the men's gold medalist has only qualified for a slam once and he lost in the 1st round.

So therein lies the problem. How can you expect people to take an event seriously when many of the top athletes in their respective sports aren't in attendance. And yes, I know this applies mostly to Canada and the United States since many other countries are sending their best (the Brazilians in particular were outstanding in swimming in 2011 and will look to repeat that performance in advance of Rio).

Again, not sure there's a solution. It's a tough sell. Not sure what the organizers can do, particularly when the event almost immediately follows the Women's World Cup. Don't know how they properly promote the event, although is obvious that the biggest hurdle they have to overcome is a lack of big-name athletes and NOT the fact that the torch is not aesthetically pleasing enough.

The Davis Cup tie has been rescheduled to a week later, and the men's tennis tournament will now begin before the Opening ceremony. The fact is 18 sports will offer Olympic qualification, meaning in those sports the best will compete. Canada will have its A team, and the rest of the Americas excluding the USA will as well. So most likely we will have a high standard of competition.

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They should throw in a Miss PanAmerica contest (say introduction at the Opening Ceremony; crowning at the Closing) and you'll see how its TV ratings soar, specially in the gay ghettos of West Hollywood, San Francisco and Fire Island!! :lol:

They're not ghettos they're gay neighborhoods, or gayborhoods for short. There is nothing ghetto about them because gayborhoods are loaded with people actually doing quite well for each other. Oh and don't forget about Key West, it's practically ruled by gays.

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Canada will have its A team, and the rest of the Americas excluding the USA will as well. So most likely we will have a high standard of competition.

I think Canada has done a wonderful job with the games. It is just sad that the Pan-Ams are not a higher profile event for the USA and Canada, because they really are perfect in size. The people in the host city get a long term benefit from athletics facilities and a short term benefit in being able to see (most of) the best athletes in their country compete, without being saddled with debt for decades and a bunch of white elephant venues.

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Canada will have its A team, and the rest of the Americas excluding the USA will as well. So most likely we will have a high standard of competition.

Maybe. Should make for an interesting games though. Will Canada's A-team be enough to edge out the US, or even Cuba??? The last time they hosted in Winnipeg 1999 they could do neither. Although they did edge out Cuba for the 2nd most medal wins, the rankings put them in 3rd because they won less golds than Cuba. I think with modern technology though you can see the games from anywhere in the world through the internet, so I wouldn't be surprised some A-team athletes come out and participate in the games this time around.

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The Davis Cup tie has been rescheduled to a week later, and the men's tennis tournament will now begin before the Opening ceremony. The fact is 18 sports will offer Olympic qualification, meaning in those sports the best will compete. Canada will have its A team, and the rest of the Americas excluding the USA will as well. So most likely we will have a high standard of competition.

They'll get a decent amount of top athletes, but unfortunately, how many prominent Candian athletes will be there?

Andrew Wiggins got mentioned upthread. That would be a good get if he's on the basketball team. Would add to the profile if Milos Raonic was in the tennis tournament, but that seems unlikely. What about someone like Damian Warner, will he be there?

I know a lot of lesser-known sports (and that's not meant to degrade their importance, simply that their athletes are less visible in North America than others) will have their top competitors there. But to the point earlier of the Pan Ams being considered a premiere competition here, it hurts matters when the big name athletes aren't in attendance. And again, I know that's different in Canada and the United States than it is elsewhere, but it does speak to the issue of holding the event and generating interest in these 2 countries.

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