Term Paper on Role of Mass Media in Women Sports
The mass media have become one of the most powerful institutional forces in modern society. They shape our values, attitudes, and knowledge of the world around us. Corporations have long realized the significance the media plays on consumer behavior. Therefore, marketing through events covered by the media adds value to their sponsorship.
Of all the media, television is clearly the most dominant one. It reaches the largest, most diversified audience; it appeals to a variety of senses; it’s consumed in greater amounts than any other medium; and its potential impact on viewers is the most powerful. Analysis of women’s sports television coverage in the1970s suggested that women did not receive even 1% of the sport coverage. However, one historic event created recognition and convincing television ratings for the coverage of women in sport.
On September 20, 1973, Billie Jean King competed with Bobby Riggs for a $100,000 winner-take-all prize. The match was hyped as a battle of the sexes and was the first sport spectacle involving a woman who grossed $3 million. For corporate sponsors and advertisers, the commercial value in this unique marketing approach started gaining attention. By the mid-1970s major corporations such as Colgate-Palmolive, Phillip Morris, and others decided to use women’s sports as a vehicle for advertising their products.
These sponsorships enabled specific women’s tournaments to be covered on television. Initially, corporations were primarily willing to sponsor only socially acceptable women’s sports such as tennis, golf, figure skating, and gymnastics. Team and contact sports struggled for financial backing due to their nontraditional representation of women. He first amateur team sport to break through the stereotyping of television coverage was women’s intercollegiate basketball.
In 1978, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) reached an agreement that allowed the network to tape the championship game between the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Maryland. This agreement began a trend that evolved to include complete live coverage of the championship game by1980. In the 1990s, women’s intercollegiate basketball programs have recorded sellout crowds, gained corporate sponsorship for individual programs, and received television coverage on a variety of networks throughout the regular season.
The Women’s Basketball Final Four Championships have received coverage on the same major network that covers the men’s championships.Another team sport that has gained recognition as an amiable product for corporate sponsors to market through has been the recently developed Women’s Profession Beach Volleyball (WPVA) tour.