Sport and Localization: I'll Run With That

I’ve just completed the Florence Marathon 2014, or La Maratona Di Firenze, if you prefer. A fairly respectable time for my little legs. It’s not my first marathon, but it was my first in Italy.

The after the Florence Marathon
Hasta la pasta. The after the Florence Marathon. Pic: Author.

Again, moving around the world as I do, a personal event offered me some nice insights into how local culture reshapes the familiar. Of course, marathons are associated with pasta parties and “carbing up” beforehand, but in Italy it was the touches during the race itself that mattered to me. None of your Gatorade here, thank you!

I was delighted to see the Italian flair for food come to fore on the feeding stations along the race route. It was hot sweetened  (tea), biscotti, dolci, frutta (fruit), and other local delicacies, along with sali (salts) replacement drinks, of course. No cappuccino, sorry. After the race there were the same kind of offerings. Of course, product globalization aside, there was the presence of Nutella (now commemorated as a postage stamp in Italy) for hungry runners, too.

Now, we don’t see, read, or hear enough about the role of culture, or localization, in sport, professional or otherwise. Perhaps someone can present on that topic at a conference or write about it in 2015.

Come on, there are even runs organized for attendees at Localization World these days. How about some insights and observations that relate  running, or other sporting activities, to the business of localization?

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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