With the World Figure Skating Championships taking place in Los Angeles right now, it’s interesting to note that skating is one sport where the ladies outperform the men when it comes to media and marketing perks.
So what exactly makes a sports star marketable? While success and a charismatic personality is important, it does not guarantee marketability off the playing field. Oftentimes it’s the playing field itself that dictates an athlete’s marketability.
Even the most prolific men’s figure skaters do not receive the same attention as the top female skaters. Just yesterday, Evan Lysecek became the first American in 13 years to win the World Figure Skating Championship. Despite his brilliant on-ice achievements, don’t expect him to appear as a box of Wheaties anytime soon.
Men’s figure skating (like men’s gymnastics) lacks a broad appeal to the general public. I’m guessing most of you probably don’t know who Lysacek is, let alone about his accomplishment at the Worlds.
Female skaters and gymnasts, on the other hand, outshine their male counterparts time after time. Kristi Yamaguchi, for example, has enjoyed several endorsement deals throughout the years, including General Motors, All State Insurance, Heinz Smart One’s and her most recent campaign, OPI nail polish.
After winning one Gold and two Silver medals in the 2008 Olympics, gymnast Shawn Johnson has gone on to appear in ads for well-known companies such as McDonalds, Coca-Cola, CoverGirl and Secret deodorant. And, she reportedly makes a nice income as a current competitor on Dancing with the Stars. Nastia Liukin has had similar marketing success. As one of the most widely-covered and publicized sports in the Summer Olympics, women gymnasts resonate with women 25-54.
Until men’s figure skating (and other sports like it) start to have more media coverage and a wider appeal, male superstars will not see marketing dollars come their way. Where have we heard that before?
(source: First Call)