Space-Binding, Time-Splitting Soccer

"Live" coverage of the Olympics and the World Cup are space-binding and time-splitting technologies of international sporting culture, recorded and read across the world through a complex prism of nation, region, race, class, sexual practice and gender.

- David Rowe, Jim McKay & Toby Miller, Come Together: Sport, Nationalism and the Media Image

That quote comes from Mediasport, an edited volume on how media affects sport and vice versa.  It was written in 1998, before the real space-binding technologies went truly global. I wrote last week about how the World Cup has Mandela & World Cup Trophythe potential to be a big driver of mobile adoption around the world. Basically, I argued that, because this is the first World Cup to be played in a world with widespread mobile access, people from Togo to Tokyo will want to get SMS score updates, audio broadcasts, and even live video of the games.

The appropriate level of technology will vary from place to place, but I'd be surprised if we didn't see a global bump, as everyone upgrades just a little-- whether it's an Argentine farmer who buys his first phone so that he can get score updates in the fields, or a Danish businessman who needs a way to watch the games in his lap at the conference table.

I'll go a step further even, to speculate that we'll likely see a great deal of innovation and new products and services emerging to enable yet more space-binding and time-splitting technology around the world. In places where television access is limited, I'd have to imagine there's a strong market for SMS score updates, and further, a place for a company to step in and offer those updates for free, in exchange for the occasional SMS advertisement. In the developing world, SMS is a marketing tool with powerful, largley untapped potential. The World Cup may go a long way to pushing that forward.

Anyhow, here's another video to pump you up for South Africa's World Cup, this one brough to you by the good folks at Pepsi, and including some space-binding, time-splitting play from Lionel Messi, Thierry Henri, Didier Drogba: