In August I was hired to workin a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division one, mediumsized, university’s athletics department. So far in my time with the universityI’ve noticed that female sports, whether or not they win, gains less marketingattention from the university than the male sports. I feel this in unjust tothe female student-athletes as they are working just as hard as the males, butsee less crowds at their games due to lack of promotion brought to the team.There was a study done and “found the major US television networks provide only1.6% of airtime for women’s sports, and such coverage has actually decreasedfrom 6.3% in 2004.
Across all television and print media, female athletes aregiven only 8% of overall sports coverage (Messner & Cooky, 2010). This wasdone for big time US networks, but is an overarching occurrence you willwitness at most colleges and universities that do not have the funding toprovide equal marketing for every team. Another study that was done on thetopic “argues that sport has been a central setting for the development of adistinctive version of masculine identity and a bastion of sexist ideas.Looking at the sporting world in this broader way also reveals the extent towhich class and ethnic differences have restricted sports participation andcontinue to do so” (Henricks, 2009). Many believe that one of the reasons women in sports donot get the marketing they deserve is due to the fact men can’t accept the factthat there are women in this world that are more physically fit than they are.Then as women develop and become stronger, faster, etc. men who are scared willthen refer to the female athletes as “lesbians,” because no “straight female”would be able to do what she just did, which now can make all of this relate towhat we have going on in the world right now.
In a study that was done here iswhat the say about athletic women being called lesbian by the public “Thelesbian label is a political weapon that can be used against any woman whosteps out of line” (Griffin, 1992). Any woman who defies traditional genderroles is called a lesbian The LGBTQ is a group of people who are constantlyfighting for equality with all straight men and women but the public still hasnot allowed it. Relating this to marketing in college sports, if a school wasto market an outstanding female athlete who is at the top of her game andexceling above everyone else, but is truly LGBTQ, sadly the school will facebacklash from that because not everyone is accepting of that community yet, andif we all have learned one thing, it’s that the people against this communityare a lot louder than the people who are supporting the community. In Hebrews 12:14 it says, “Make every effort to live inpeace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”This is saying that as people in a community we need to equally all walks oflife no matter race, creed, religion, and/or sexual orientation becauseaccording to that passage if you do not see everyone as equals then you willnot have holiness in you. I believe sports can help lead the charge for the issue,especially at the college level.
Have marketing departments understand that thefemale student-athletes are working just as hard as the men and deserve thesame opportunities when it comes to marketing, and pulling in viewers, whetherit is live or over a broadcast. So many people in this world watch sports, andif you can get people to watch more women’s sports by marketing it out more tothe public, I fully believe it will create a snowball effect that goes out intothe general public even if some of those people do not watch sports. The steps that are being made are huge for the female andthe LGBTQ communities are they are starting to gain respect from all walks oflife slowly but surely. We still are not to completely equal yet, but theprogress that as been made is a vast improvement from 10 years ago. If sportsmarketing can hop onto this momentum that is being created there is a goodchance that we will soon start to see a more consistent equality in sports.