So beileve it or not but when it comes to athletic sponsorships of women, many brands often seem to value female athletes more for their looks than their actual athletic talents. Female athletes are now being told they need to be ‘good looking’ to get sponsors. Here at Legacy Sportswear we ask the question why? Why are their looks more important then how hard they perform as an athlete and how much that person has achieved in thier chosen sport?
It’s quite often you see will female athletes seductively sipping various products such as protien shakes and supplements in advertisements. The media’s prioritizing of sex appeal over athletic talents gives the wrong impression of female athletes to on-lookers espcially young aspiring female athletes.
Professional athletes, regardless of gender, put an incredible amount of time and effort in to training and trying to achieve their dreams. This effort, howeve is diminished by the media’s representation of female athletics. The way female athletes are portrayed in the media, while sometimes the images are ‘performance-focused’, emphasising their strength and power, many others are just ‘sexualised’.
A prime example of this would be now retired tennis player Anna Kournikova who was featured in the press as an example of a ‘sexualised’ female athlete. Kournikova, well-known for her sex appeal, failed to win a major singles title during her career yet had major brands backing her throughout her career.
Surfer Alana Blanchard currently has eight major sponsors, including GoPro, Rip Curl and Rockstar Energy Drink and is often listed as the highest paid female surfer in the industry. Yet she has never come close to winning a world title and currently ranks just 62nd in the World Surf League’s qualifying series.
So why is it male athletes just have to play well whilst female athletes have to play well, be really pretty, be feminine and be of a certain age? It seems women in sport have a lot more requirements to get a sponsor these days then men.
Ultimately we here at Legacy would prefer to see female athletes being recognised for their athletic talent rather then something else and the better athlete should always get the best sponsors and highest paycheck!