The Relationship Between Trophies and Modern Sports

Trophies have been around for hundreds upon hundreds of years, and predate today’s major sporting events by centuries—including the Olympics.  Yet even after so much time has elapsed, trophies still play as big a role as ever in the world of sports. Indeed, trophies are representative of more than the activities that they’re awarded for. Rather, they serve as a tangible representation of what is often a lifetime hard work, training, and dedication spent climbing all the way to the top.

Specific Trophies

Here are just a few of the ways that different modern sports have come to be associated with specific trophies.


Trophies have been awarded at golf tournaments since the 1800s—and maybe even earlier. These days, most golf events honour winners with large cash sums. That said, perhaps even more valuable than the giant championship cheque, are trophies like the Claret Jug which is awarded every year at the British Open. Other tournaments will also recognize golfers who make the most prestigious shout of the game—the hole in one.


Football is one of the, if not the single most popular sports in North America. The first trophy that most people associate with the game is The Super Bowl, which is won by the best NFL team of the season. Even more prestigious however, is the Heisman trophy which is presented to the best player in college football. Not only is it a symbol of one individual’s dedication, hard work, and success, but has also come to represent the near-guarantee of a successful career in professional American Football.


Of course we can’t forget what might be the most well known trophy in all of North America—The Stanley Cup! The Stanley Cup has been in circulation for over 100 years, and predates the NHL itself. NHL, and almost all other hockey leagues also offer trophies for individual players who have excelled over the season.

All Sports, All Ages, All Leagues

While we’ve been focusing primarily on professional sporting leagues, trophies are awarded at all levels of competition, from recreational to semi-pro. Even players participating in school leagues are typically awarded with some kind of trophy to celebrate their victories.

There’s no other symbol of hard work and success as poignant as the trophy. For this reason, we think it’s safe to say that the ubiquity of trophies with modern sports will continue for years and years to come.

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