Sports stars and their fandoms aren’t always the most pristine crowds. Athletes dedicate blood, sweat, and tears to become pros in their field, while fans pack into stadiums and cheer at the top of their lungs for their favorite team.
Some sports enjoy more austere reputations, like golf and tennis. Others, like football and hockey, require a rough-and-tumble attitude. Regardless of the degree of high-octane action, most sports fans find that wagering on their favorite team is one way to feel closer to the game.
Now that most sportsbooks offer a welcome bonus to newcomers, there’s something for even the most casual sports fans. In recent years, the number of ‘prop bets’ has expanded. These are wagers that cover smaller outcomes related to a game, and they’re more imaginative than the average moneyline or over/under.
Depending on the sport, some are even related explicitly to style. Punters can wager on what brand of suit a rookie will wear to the NFL Draft or what type of outfit the National Anthem performer will wear for the World Series.
For fans of both fashion and sports, these types of bets prove popular. However, there are two sports that naturally incorporate elements of grandeur: Formula One racing and professional figure skating.
Fans of each are given a glimpse into an extravagant and high-stakes lifestyle, in which glamour might actually be considered an integral part of the job. Let’s take a closer look.
For professional ice skaters like Peggy Fleming and Patrick Chan, learning to dominate the ice first comes down to skills like agility, balance, coordination, and speed. There must be a dedication to form and technique, as well as ineffable flair and elegance that catches the judges’ attention.
Aside from technical prowess and grace, ice skaters must inspire awe with their ensembles. This is where athletes such as Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan (1998, 2002) and six-time US champion Gretchen Merrill (1948) have differentiated themselves from the competition.
It isn’t just about building skill on the ice, but a professional ability to showboat (accessories aside). Brightly colored and tailored outfits are designed to highlight the movements the skaters make, which means extravagance is a requisite for success. If you need a winning example, check out gold-medalist Katarina Witt’s outfit from the 1984 Olympics.
Formula One Racing
There’s very little elegance involved in handling a 1,500-pound hunk of metal that’s speeding by at nearly 200mph. In fact, for the two hours top racers are strapped into their vehicles and zooming around tracks, there’s little more than the boom of engines and high screech of passing cars at an F1 track.
It’s the lifestyle surrounding these racers that makes the sport so glamorous and intriguing. Fans fawn over drivers for their haughty paychecks, the sport’s Monegasque history, the highly respected brands involved, and the globe-trotting nature of the international racing series.
Even more absorbing is the dynastic nature of Formula One. This is due to the prohibitive costs associated with learning to kart and (eventually) man an F1 car, but also the sport’s history in the past century.
For example, Charles Leclerc is currently a driver for Ferrari. He inherited the position for his skill on the tracks, as well as his relationship to former Ferrari driver, Jules Bianchi. Bianchi himself was the grandnephew of Lucien Bianchi, a Formula One driver from the 1960s.
Sounds exclusive? It is. Each year, only twenty drivers are selected to represent the ten manufacturers competing in the F1 series. From Rolex to Pirelli to Emirates, even some of the world’s biggest brands fight for a chance to sponsor the series.