Is women’s sport narrative obsolete?
A widespread message of equality, purpose and sacrifice builds most stories about female athletes, teams and competitions. But, are they all the same?
The story we tell ourselves about the product is the product.
On Running was immediately perceived as a champion, high-performing and stylish brand through its partnership with Roger Federer, establishing a clear brand positioning.
The consistent promotion of women’s sport as a purpose-driven, collective and social product can dangerously limit its potential as a source of entertainment and individual identity, being relegated to CSR.
“It makes women’s sport feel like something fans should support, not something they want to watch”, explained to Dark Horses agency.
Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, has traditionally been the only woman on the world’s highest-paid athletes list. According to Forbes’ 2022 ranking, she made over $45 million with more than a dozen endorsement deals.
Throughout women’s sport, Williams embodies a modern and constructive narrative, based on her individual essence, own voice and physical expression, as well as present’s attractiveness as an entertainer in global sport.
“Love Means Everything” campaign from Gatorade celebrated Serena’s real and whole identity during her trajectory, highlighting love as a fundamental element for unleashing confidence and self-realization.
She didn’t grow up seeking to become a role model, but to win every single point on a tennis court, without needing the men’s game to pave her own path. Her authentic engagement connects today, far from showing up as an constantly-improving product.
Likewise, Serena Williams’ brand has also been crafted on both a champion and human DNA, creating excitement from a prestige and elite perception, and vulnerability from drama and controversy as any other human being.
Audiences dictate what stories in the world of women’s sport are relevant enough to get spread, but, as marketers, we are responsible for shaping products so they can touch fans’ emotions and thoughts.
Now, it might be time to modernize the way athletes, teams and competitions are seen.
World-class entertainment and unique products.
Let’s learn to see differently.
Source: Forbes, Warc