Hi guys! I'm the gal who handles picking and pitching the themes to the chair and marketing teams for each year. First off, I want to say I'm really excited you guys have taken the time to create a feedback thread on this. I didn't know people were that involved in our themes, since it usually sticks to just the artwork and visual image of the con. Hopefully it's something we can work on integrating into more events (love the parade of nations idea). I really wanted a mystery-themed stamp rally for the Steampunk theme but we couldn't get it off the ground. I think our folks at Stage Zero will fo a great job integrating sports, though, cause they are pumped!
We picked the sports theme to tie into a genre of anime we haven't yet covered (as a well-loved sub-genre of anime, it's pretty nerdy) AND with the 2012 Olympics. For this reason, the characters will actually be depicted in Olympic sport uniforms (swim suits, etc) and Team Fanime track suits as well. Sports each character will represent are tennis (Prince of Tennis), beach volley ball (DOA), soccer (Inazuma Eleven), rythmic gymnastics (Ranma and several other anime feature this sport), and track & field (Battle Athletes). However, any sport is welcome for cosplay and fun!
I'm loving some of the suggestions here... especially folklore, Fanime 500 (go, Speedracer!), and under the sea. I'm definitely adding those to the pool of ideas! As for K/J-pop and visual kei.. we did rock/pop music in 2009, so though Visual Kei is more extreme in costuming, those would be too close. Similar thing for Cybergoth. Our cyberpunk theme was actually infused with a bit of gothic lolita style (doing an over-the-top sweet lolita theme would still be valid, though). Pokemon is an actual licensed title, so there would be a very fine legal line to walk between parody and copyright. It's also a very specific thing that people are attached to. I like to keep the themes a bit more generalized. Dolly kei would be neat for a "Fairy Tale" theme, though! To the person who suggested dolls.. though you mention Victorian dolls, a BJD theme IS in my pool of ideas.
Trying to keep it more closely associated to Asian culture, hence the BJD focus.
Keep the suggestions coming.. I like to brainstorm all year for coming years, and keep a running tab of my favorite ideas in a notepad file.