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Espn wsummit blogpdf


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A marketing perspective on the future of women and sport

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Espn wsummit blogpdf

  1. 1. Ideas For the Next 40 Years Some key themes in our knowledge about women and sports 09/26/2012 @EMMACNYC Outsider perspective. Not an athlete/expert - but spend my days obsessed with 2 questions typically: how to get attention for something people tend to ignore, how to get people to care about it more. Both seem v relevant for women and sportMonday, October 22, 12
  2. 2. the title ix effect some amazing achievements post title ix ..... source: “As Title IX turns 40, legacy goes beyond numbers”, Nancy Armour, Associated Press. 2012. 2Monday, October 22, 12
  3. 3. 3Monday, October 22, 12
  4. 4. “Were U.S. women their own nation, they would have finished ahead of every other countrys total gold medal count except China and tied Great Britain.” source: USA Today 4Monday, October 22, 12
  5. 5. world’s highest paid athletes, 2011 But a very long way to go source: Forbes 5Monday, October 22, 12
  6. 6. most searched athletes, 2011 1. Manny Pacquiao 2. Tiger Woods 3. LeBron James 4. Michael Jordan 5. Kobe Bryant 6. Tim Tebow 7. Kris Humphries 8. Aaron Rodgers 9. Derrick Rose 10. Peyton Manning  source: Google Zeitgeist 6Monday, October 22, 12
  7. 7. los angeles sports news coverage by sex, 1999-2009 A vicious circle of less interest less coverage less investment less interest less coverage etc... source: USC Center for Feminist Research 7Monday, October 22, 12
  8. 8. Mo r es n e me wo wo me et n hl re fa at Mo ns The virtuous circle we’d More fans of like to see instead women’s sports My approach: some ideas/ themes that might help.. 8Monday, October 22, 12
  9. 9. Mo r es n e me wo wo me et n hl re fa at Mo ns More fans of Start with female fandom women’s sports what do we know about how we can get more women exited about sport - all sport, that played by men AND by women. ie how to spur more passionate female sports fans 9Monday, October 22, 12
  10. 10. The power of stories the theme that immediately comes to the fore.. 10Monday, October 22, 12
  11. 11. “They might be big time athletes, but they are still women and deal with the same problems we do. We want to know how they deal with their problems and how their stories can inspire us…” - Jean, mom, espnW qualitative research “We like to feel like we “know” the athletes… we like the backstory” - Joanne, mom, espnW qualitative research “I look for interesting stories in addition to sports. I like to know what’s going on behind the scenes in athletes’ lives…” - Melanie, non-mom, espnW qualitative research 11Monday, October 22, 12
  12. 12. in what way do women “fan” differently? •Topline stats •Nitty-gritty stats •Wants to know athletes as •Likes to know the athletes as people numbers, fantasy, brackets •Cares about “her” teams and •Cares about the sport, the “her” favorite players league, and the team •Cares about the “what”, “why” •Focused on the “what” and “how” 12Monday, October 22, 12
  13. 13. “Think about the story of the sport for women. Where is the reality TV show for women’s sport? Where is the ‘rise above the odds’ TV series or movie story?” - Kate Muhl, Iconoculture 13Monday, October 22, 12
  14. 14. A parallel example from a very different world...The life story of a major band or singer each week, and even if you didn’t like the musical genre of that singer/band, their story could be riveting, deeply engaging... 14Monday, October 22, 12
  15. 15. Provocation of course... but doesn’t the approach have potential?? 15Monday, October 22, 12
  16. 16. Room in market for a sports mag/site that is specifically and exclusively about the LIFE of athletes? their background, family, training, values, hopes, daily struggles etc. Sort of mid-way point between ESPN mag and People mag? Power to appeal to many, but esp women?? 16Monday, October 22, 12
  17. 17. The principle in action.... part of a great campaign with storytelling about athletes at the core 17Monday, October 22, 12
  18. 18. Star power 18Monday, October 22, 12
  19. 19. 81.5 million readers 71.6 million readers No prizes for spotting America-s - esp American women’s - seemingly insatiable appetite for content about celebs and stars. Maybe not always a palatable phenomenon - but a powerful one. Exploitable for women’s sport? source: US Media Pack, People Media Pack, InTouch Media Pack, OK Magazine Media Pack, Star Magazine Media Pack, National Enquirer Media Pack,, E Online, Gawker, 19Monday, October 22, 12
  20. 20. From my childhood - the phenomenon in action. Two great athletes, roughly equally matched - beat each other an even number of times. But only one star - McEnroe of course....often annoying but always compelling, stimulated talk and attention 20Monday, October 22, 12
  21. 21. “Personalities matter, popularity is not just about talent. When Shaun White is competing, more people watch, they just do. Same with Lindsey Vonn.” - Ron Semiao, founder/creator, The X-Games Parallel learning from the world of action/extreme sports - a sector of the sports landscape that grew exponentially in recent years. 21Monday, October 22, 12
  22. 22. 22Monday, October 22, 12
  23. 23. Supremacy Symbolism Charisma Beauty 23Monday, October 22, 12
  24. 24. Lifestyle one final theme in area of potentially increasing female fandom... 24Monday, October 22, 12
  25. 25. “It was more than just a sport, it was a lifestyle, it was culture.....There clearly was a look to it, not everyone wanted to be a pro skateboarder or snowboarder but everyone wanted to look like one. It was a badge you wore.” - Ron Semiao, Founder/Creator, X-Games “This category didn’t really take hold till the late 80s/early 90s when someone called it all ‘extreme sports’. They introduced the concept that it was all about athletes and sports ‘taking it to the next level, taking it to an extreme’.... When it becomes a lifestyle, that’s when it becomes big growth.” - Scott Bowers, Oakley Learning from the action sports experts again....For women, sport is and can be not just something they do or something they watch - but something that represents who they are, what they believe in. ie Lifestyle branding - cultivating a brand that makes a statement about the kind of life you lead. 25Monday, October 22, 12
  26. 26. women’s sports participation top 10 sports currently participating in (%’s 1 likely definite Gym workouts! 56%$ 75% Running! 46%$ 64% Yoga! 40%$ 51% Swimming! 35%$ 53% Hiking! 35%$ 47% Weight lifting! 31%$ 45% !  Basketball - 21%! !  Tennis ! - 21%! !  Volleyba Sport as lifestyle more than competitive arena for most women.... Q4: which best describes each of the following sports activities for you? ! source: espnW 26Monday, October 22, 12
  27. 27. women’s top reasons for participating in sports To stay healthy 85% To stay in shape 84% To relieve stress 81% To maintain/lose weight 77% Because it’s fun, even though it’s not my top priority 68% Love of the game 66% To stay centered/balanced 66% Because it will help me later in life 59% To bond with other people 57% source: espnW quantitative research, August 2010 27Monday, October 22, 12
  28. 28. A great example of a brand taking advantage of this theme: powerful lifestyle identity with no dilution of authenticity/integrity... 28Monday, October 22, 12
  29. 29. Mo r es n e me wo wo me et n hl re fa at Mo ns Themes that may help boost More fans of women’s sports interest in women’s sport - whether this is men or women becoming more interested in women’s sport.... 29Monday, October 22, 12
  30. 30. Dads and daughters Fathers - and grandfathers - as a ‘soft target’ for boosting general population interest in, and support for, women’s sport.. 30Monday, October 22, 12
  31. 31. “A 2011 study found that if a CEO’s first born happened to be a daughter, the company’s wage gap between men and women lowered by nearly 3 percentage points.” indication of the powerful the influence of paternal love and paternal involvement with their daughters can be.. source: Wall Street Journal, March 9 2011 31Monday, October 22, 12
  32. 32. Only 28% of girls credit their fathers with teaching them “the most” about sports (vs.46% for boys). A way to go... source: Women’s Sports Foundation 32Monday, October 22, 12
  33. 33. Indicator and optimizer of this opportunity (my daughter’s shirt - my husband is a diehard Man City soccer fan)... 33Monday, October 22, 12
  34. 34. “In a general sense, people are living a much less gendered existence… begins with how households function: more than 60% of married women today are breadwinners or co-breadwinners.” “What’s new is the more co-operative approach to household tasks. There’s been a huge increase in men’s participation in child-rearing. Dads change diapers, give baths etc….It used to be that a guy could live through his son’s achievements but not his daughters, but now that’s not true, it’s daughters too.” - Traci Croft, Iconoculture 34Monday, October 22, 12
  35. 35. A dramatic shift in a relatively short period of time, need to harness this trend. It’s a powerful lever to pull source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008 35Monday, October 22, 12
  36. 36. The power of story-telling (redux) Power of story-telling as a force to change even a whole society’s attitudes and values? Relevant in a society still tending to think of sport as inherently male and ‘masculine’?... 36Monday, October 22, 12
  37. 37. transformation of popular opinion by sitcom “TV [especially popular Indian soap operas] brought new ideas into isolated villages that tended to be very conservative and traditional….The effect was huge: ‘introducing cable television is equivalent to roughly five years of female education” Can’t recommend this book highly enough. This example about how the advent of TV in remote rural communities - via sitcoms - had power to unsettle ingrained prejudice against women’s rights to education, right to marry late/voluntarily, right to operate independent of husband/father etc 37Monday, October 22, 12
  38. 38. Mo r es n e me wo wo me et n hl re fa at Mo ns More fans of women’s sports 38Monday, October 22, 12
  39. 39. Time Saving 39Monday, October 22, 12
  40. 40. Women historically have reported higher level of stress than men. On a 1 - 10 scale of little-to-no stress to a great deal of stress, women report stress at a level of 5.4 and men at 4.8. Busyness a constant issue for most adults today in developed world, but women esp report feeling overloaded and overwhelmed on a regular basis. There never seem to be enough hours.... source: The American Psychological Association, 2012 40Monday, October 22, 12
  41. 41. 85% of women who have an equal socioeconomic position to their partner have more than half the responsibility for domestic work. source: PLoS ONE Journal, 2012 as cited by MSN 41Monday, October 22, 12
  42. 42. “With so much going on in my life now, it’s sometimes hard to fit everything in. Exercise is still important to me and I have to make time. Sometimes I don’t have the luxury to enjoy it, but just need to get it done.” - Karen, mom, espnW qualitative research 42Monday, October 22, 12
  43. 43. Some businesses that have flourished as a result. To maximize further female sport participation (esp post school/college), can we also come up with ideas that make it quick and easy for women to participate? 43Monday, October 22, 12
  44. 44. 21st Century C.S.R. 44Monday, October 22, 12
  45. 45. “Socially responsible firms receive more favorable recommendations in recent years relative to earlier ones, documenting a changing perception of the value of such strategies by the analysts.” source: Loannis Loannoy, London Business School & George Serafeim, Harvard Business School, August 2010 45Monday, October 22, 12
  46. 46. “Over two-thirds of consumers say that responsibility is important. 55% of consumers are more likely to choose a product that supports a certain cause when choosing between otherwise similar products.” source: Landors CSR Branding Survey, 2010 46Monday, October 22, 12
  47. 47. “In a 2006 survey of executives and investors, 85% said CSR (corporate social responsibility) was a “central” or “important” consideration in investment decisions. That figure was almost double the 44% who responded similarly five years before.” All has potential relevance for women’s sport marketplace because of the incredible facts about the positive social impact that sports participation has for girls and young women. source: The Economist survey, 2006 47Monday, October 22, 12
  48. 48. Female athletes in grades 9 through 12 are less than half as likely to get pregnant as their non-athlete peers. Female high school athletes of all races and ethnicities tend to have higher grades and significantly higher graduation rates than non-athletes. source: The Women’s Sports Foundation Report, 1998. The Journal of Research on Adolescence, 1998. 48Monday, October 22, 12
  49. 49. erall have Her Emotional Contentedness is Evideself-image ves, have erall in How Positively She Describes Herse sports effect on girls’ Non-Athlete (A) Athlete (B) Hardcore At (C) he hardcorenkssuccess and self-esteemself-image ves,even Caring Non-Athlete 88% Athlete 92% A Hardcore At 94% AB y of herself. he hardcore (A) (B) (C) ositive, erall havenks evend words toself-image y of herself. Fun Caring 87% 88% 90% A 92% 93% AB 94% emselves. ves, Non-Athlete Athlete Hardcore At ositive, he hardcored words to thletes donks even emselves. A Multi-Dimensional View of Herself: A Hardworking Fun (A) 70% 87% (B) 85% A 90% (C) 89% AB 93% mselves as y of herself.mpetitive, or ositive, do thletes Tough Leader and Girly Trendsetter Caring Funny Hardworking 88% 78% 70% 92% A 79% 85% A 94% AB 82% B 89% ABdmselves as words to emselves.mpetitive, or A Multi-Dimensional View of Herself: A Fun Active Funny 87% 44% 78% 90% A 82% A 79% 93% AB 93% AB 82% B hletes use thletes do ugh to Tough Leader and Girly Trendsetter Hardworking Outgoing Active 70% 60% 44% 85% A 72% A 82% 89% AB 78% AB 93% mselves as Non-Athlete Athlete Hardcore Ath mselves, ormpetitive, Funny 78% 79% 82% B Pretty Outgoing 59% (A) 60% 70%A (B) 72% A 77% AB 78%(C) ey are than non- hletes use Active 44% 82% A 93% ABuse the Confident Leader Pretty 53% 48% 59% 71% A 69% A 70%A 79% AB 77% AB 79% ugh to s well. mselves, Outgoing Non-Athlete 60% Athlete 72% A Hardcore Ath 78% AB ey are Competitive An influencer Confident (A) 45% 51% 53% (B) A 74% A 59% 71% (C) 86% AB 79% AB 67% s are more than non- and the less Pretty 59% 70%A 77% ABuse Leader Tough Laid-back Competitive 48% 44% 68% B 45% 69% A 53% A 61% 74% 79% AB 63%63% 86% ABm’. well. s Words et,’ and Confident An influencer 53% 51% 71% A 59% A 79% AB 67% AB Popular Laid-back Base: 37% 68% B (501) 55% 61% (1001) 66%63% (500) r are more s andless and Companies spend a Tough on csr programsimpact.know this is more important than 74% And encouraging/enabling AB Competitive fortune - and 45% ever. A 86% AB 44% being done to channel that csr spending our way? 53% A 63% Amore likely Girly positive social women’s sport has proven So is enough 49% 52%m’. Words Base: (501) (1001) (500) a non- espnW et,’ source: and Laid-back 68% B 61% 63% Popular Intense level ollowing words describe you? 37% 38% 55% A 46% 66% AB 56% r significance at the 95% confidence tical and 49 Girly Trendsetter Base: ollowing words describe you?more likely22, 12 the 95% confidence level 44% 35% (501) 49% 43% A (1001) 52% A 49% AB (500) tical significance at Monday, October
  50. 50. Important, in doing so, to recognize the shift to a more progressive form of philanthropy: more personal, more transparent, more innovative, more creative. Perhaps useful for women’s sport organizations to pattern these newer arrivals 50Monday, October 22, 12
  51. 51. Mo r es n e me wo wo me et n hl re fa at Mo ns One last over-arching More fans of point... women’s sports 51Monday, October 22, 12
  52. 52. Leadership Most people at this event are proven, impressive leaders. And leaders united in pursuit of a change agenda. Therefore maybe important also to consider the most powerful leadership qualities we may all need to deploy - qualities which may not all be intuitive to us as women..... 52Monday, October 22, 12
  53. 53. “When I came up with The X-Games, it was a polarizing idea: half the most senior execs loved it, but half hated it. I had to sell it really hard, I had to stick my neck out....There was lots of push-back from sport commentators, from experts.... There was ‘It’s not proper sports, it’s not what ESPN should be doing; we are like the New York Times of sport, this is The National Inquirer’.” - Ron Semiao, X-Games Founder/Creator 53Monday, October 22, 12
  54. 54. Men: Success = Popularity Women: Success ≠ Popularity I think we all have to be ready to deal with this equation; conscious and up for it if we are to step up as female leaders in a world hard-set to the male agenda source: Sheryl Sandberg TED talk, 2010 54Monday, October 22, 12
  55. 55. “They (women) aren’t just bad at behaving like arrogant self-aggrandizing jerks. They are bad at behaving like self-promoting narcissists, anti-social obsessives, or pompous blowhards, even a little bit, even temporarily, even when it would be in their best interests to do so. Whatever bad things you can say about these behaviors, you can’t say they are under-represented among people who have changed the world.” - Clay Shirky Promoting the success and growth of the women’s sports marketplace is undoubtedly a tough, demanding challenge. We face lots of ingrained obstacles. It is a challenge that is about ‘changing the world’ - change, not just success. And I wonder if overcoming those obstacles therefore might sometimes require us to lead in ways that don’t come naturally to us - as collaborative, mutually supportive, consensus-building women... 55Monday, October 22, 12
  56. 56. In conclusion... • Tell stories • Build stars • Promote a lifestyle • Harness dads • Save time • Emphasize social benefits • Be brave. A brave jerk, if necessary. 56Monday, October 22, 12
  57. 57. title of slide. source: here 57Monday, October 22, 12