In general, I think his piece is interesting. I love how he's trying to do something.
But whenever we get to arguments of "What can we do to make our sport popular?" I've become a bit of a pessimist. I mean if you asked me this about cycling or rowing I'd saying, "Nothing."
Currently we have the Diamond League. WE at letsrun treat that like a big deal and view that as sort of the equivalent of the NFL regular season for our sport.
When I watch a DL, I actually think there are too many events in too short of a window. I want fewer events but want them to mean more. I don't want to see two 5000s in the span of 3 days with 60% of the top guys in it. I'd rather see one every 2 months with everyone in it.*
That's why I didn't like the recent DL changes. They were saying that no one wanted to run 6 DL 5000s so they were getting rid of it. I was like, "I don't want them to run 6. I want everyone to show up at 2-3 and it would be amazing."
I'd father have 1 race with a $100,000 1st prize that everyone shows up with than 10 at $10,000.
Personally, I think if we are going to a major concept you should have maybe one major per event group. You have a huge throws festival that everyone goes crazy about. You have a huge sprint festival and distance festival.
The problem our sport has that's a lot different than tennis or golf is there are so many champions. We hold a 11 day world champs and crown close to 40 champions. Golf and tennis crown one male champion, one female champion. Actually basically every other major sport has one champion. There is only one Super Bowl winner, one world series winner. So if we are going to have majors, I think we'd need to do it by event group otherwise your attention is just too diverted. The press has no idea who to focus on.
*PS That's why I hate when the 5000 at a WC is diluted either because the top talent doesn't or can't double back from the 1500/10k.
PPS. The success of the "major marathons" is interesting. No one complains, "But Kipchoge wasn't here." We celebrate the winners. But if ther was a track major in say 2012 and David Rudisha didnt show up in the 800 it wouldn't mean as much.
PPPS. I feel like this post is a bit like Ben's initial interview. I don't have the time I need to full elaborate but want to get something out there.