4CC vs Euros
I poked around the house most of the day today and caught up on watching Euro's on YouTube. Almost all the big names from Europe were there, with the exception of Plushy and S/S. And several countries seem to be using Euro's to determine Oly/World teams. Looking at the line-up for the upcoming 4CC it's the opposite - almost none of the big names will be there - per usual. What can the ISU do to up the importance of 4CC?
A few ideas -
Move it to before Euro's
Make World attendance based of 4CC/Euro placement
Have 3 continental championships - Europe/Africa, Asia/Oceania, N & S America
Or maybe it doesn't matter
Make the gap between FCC and Worlds greater; make the gap between the Canadian/US Nationals and 4CC greater as well. But realistically, in an Olympic season, the top teams simply won't do Four Continents. In fact, the Canadian National team before the 2010 Olympics had to sign statements asserting they wouldn't go to 4CC.
Originally Posted by ivy
The European Figure Skating Championship is a big deal with a glorious history. It predates the World Championship by a decade. (If you are European champion, what else is there? )
Four Continents, one the other hand -- until very recently countries had to scramble to find some second string skaters that were willing to go. A few years ago the ISU tried to bribe skaters to attend 4CC by offering a cash prize at the end of the year (I think it was $45,000) for the highest-rated skater in each discipline for that season, and the point system was set up so that you couldn't win if you didn't attend and score well at Euros or 4CC. That plan was dropped after two years -- I think because the ISU didn't have the money.
I think it is hard to make people care about a particular competition. It has to develop its own prestige over the years.
How about, make the gap between America and Asia smaller?
Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
Just kidding, obviously, but more skaters might go if it wasn't so far away for half of them
Currently frozen as a popsicle
It's easy to have Europeans when there's not as big a distance travelled/time zone jumps. Anywhere 4CC is held, there's going to be massive distances and time zones traversed due to the nature of the competition combining the US, Canada, Japan, China, and the rest of the countries involved.
It would be nice to see more big teams there, but penalizing teams for not wanting to deal with the wonders of jet lag and long travel times isn't really the right thing to do.
Also, the title "Four Continents Champion" doesn't quite roll off the tongue like "European Champion" does. Perhaps changing the name of the competition would help.
- * -
I think there should be some sort of North American championship, but after US and Canadian nationals would have just happened, that would be kind of difficult.
Off the ice
Actually, the top two dance teams also missed Euros, while S/S did do the SP but withdrew because she was sick. I agree that the attendance at Euros is much better than at 4CC and I think it's a combination of timing and event prestige.
Originally Posted by ivy
European champion Javier Fernandez trains in Toronto. Valentina Marchei trains in Detroit. IIRC all the Israeli skaters train in New Jersey and so do ice dance bronze medalists Coomes and Buckland. Actually, half the dance teams probably train in North America if not more (Shpilband could often be seen in the K&C). The distance between the US/Canada and Budapest isn't quite as big as between most of the US and East Asia, but it's not exactly a quick hop.
Originally Posted by Chemistry66
4CC will never be important in an Olympic year but I think I have some good suggestions for upping its reputation:
1. In the year before Olympic season, hold it at the upcoming Olympic venue.
2009 4CC was held in Vancouver, exactly 1 year before Olympics ... like a preview, very nice way of doing it IMO.
2. Figure skating season should be marketed better by all federations.
For the big names who get assigned two GP slots, should skate one in October and one in November.
GPF in December
All nationals in January
4CC in February
Worlds in March
This gives audiences about 1 major competition per month which keeps "in-season" momentum maintained, and then the rest of the year off-season.
Exactly same as other major sports are marketed to the public.
Would also help if ISU could promote 4CC as a "major", similar to golf and tennis.
4. Grand Prix Final
Being the major championships.
Off the ice
What if the Olympic venue is in a European country? What about countries whose Nationals are in December? Why should 4CC be considered one of the majors while Euros is not? This is a very NA-centric approach.
Originally Posted by Ven
There's usually a major event in the Olympic venue the year before, though sometimes it's the GPF rather than one of the continental championships.
leave no stone unturned
The other major event they could have hosted in SOchi instead of GPF is Euros. They couldnt host 4CC. By the way has Russia ever hosted the Euros? I dont remember at all that case.
Well, I don't think it's a NA-centric approach, because Euros is only for Europeans, and hypothetical NA champs would be only U.S.-Canada, etc. I thought 4CC was supposed to be inclusive for every nationality, which would be necessary for a "major".
Originally Posted by Buttercup
The alternative would be to eliminate 4CC, and just have Euros, NA Champs, Asian Champs, in its place.
Also, I think the federations should co-ordinate and hold their Nationals the same month. One of the things that helps major sports leagues bring in lots of $$$'s is a regular, consistent schedule. If you had GP slots in October and November, with GP Final in December, and Senior B's mixed in ... this would allow the U.S. networks to get behind their top skater for a GP event each month, Japanese nets, Russian nets all do the same. Then you have nationals in January ... 4CC or Euro/NA/Asian champs in February, and Worlds in March. It just helps to build and keep momentum through the season.
This would be more marketable to casual fans and draw in new ones. GS posters already know when all of the big competitions are, but at least here in the U.S. most people don't. It would help figure skating at least in the U.S. to have a regular schedule and more marketing in the way I described. Just one big competition per year (nats) and then 1-week tape delayed broadcasts at 12 noon on Saturday ..randomly spread out through the season ... not exactly the best way to market the sport.
It really has nothing to do with prestige, as the field for 4CC in non-Olympic years is generally as strong as possible.
In an Olympic year, they have no choice but to move 4CC into January instead of February, which puts it too close to the Nationals of two major countries in the event (the US and Canada). And by allowing a week in between US/Canadian Nationals and 4CC, 4CC ends up scheduled too close to the Olympics.
The European countries hold their Nationals earlier (in December), which makes it reasonable for those countries' Olympians to attend Europeans (in January).
I really don't know if anything can be done to fix this.
Off the ice
That's exactly my point: all your suggestions are based on what will work for the US and to a lesser extent Canada, disregarding everyone else who sends skaters to 4CC and disregarding the European countries (4CC as a major, Euros not on that list). Why should everyone in and out of Europe re-do their schedules to accommodate the US? Japanese Nationals are held in December and clearly that works for them. It doesn't look like they need any changes to their marketing plan, considering the huge popularity of the sport there.
Originally Posted by Ven
It probably makes more sense to have all the major Nationals in the second half of December (after the GPF, of course) and then have the continental championships in the middle to second half of January, giving everyone a breather during which they can prepare for Worlds (or for the Olympics, as the case may be) - then you don't need to switch up the schedule in an Olympic year.
Here in the U.S. the best way to grow the sport would be:
Oct/Nov -- Skate America in prime-time on a Saturday night or something
Oct/Nov -- one of the other GP slots that #1 American skater draws (again, you want to put these in prime-time and promo the hell out of them)
Dec -- Grand Prix Final (promo the hell out of it!)
Even if you have to tape delay in foreign countries ... show it that night. Don't show it at 12 noon on Saturday two weeks later. That's pathetic.
Jan -- U.S. Nationals
(ideally you would make this a bigger deal, with live set like NBC did with 2009 WCs in L.A.)
Feb -- 4CC or Euros/North American/Asian Champs
March -- World Championships
Obviously everything would get moved up in the Olympic years ... but yeah, NBC and ISU do a pathetic job of marketing the sport. It's shameful, almost like they don't care.