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View Full Version : Your Thoughts: Women as sex symbols in tennis


Lemonskin.
Oct 20th, 2004, 11:29 AM
What do you think about this contentious issue?

Chrissie-fan
Oct 20th, 2004, 11:38 AM
Nothing wrong with it,as long as they can play. I think it's important to have a lot of different personalities in the game. Some players who are sexy,some who are known for their "bad behaviour," some who are "nice.".....Whatever....Players that people can love or hate,identify with,root for or against.

Greenout
Oct 20th, 2004, 11:44 AM
I don't think anything blatant or stupid like the models at MADRID Masters
is happening in the WTA. People are attractive, have individual appeal
and yes- it has alot to do with how people warm up to certain players.
You may not find some of these players to your personal tastes; but
believe me somebody else does.

I don't think tennis fans are dumb enough and would tolerate a
horrible player with no tennis skills. I also doubt a player can con their
way into the top 50 based on sex appeal or looks- you really have to
play. Also unlike the ATP where natural physical ability to serve isn't
out of the ordinary and can get you along fine as a journeyman career,
the WTA is more about skill. You can't really fake skill or talent- you
will be found out.

In the end the money is for the $$$$ winners- the title holders, the
grand slam winners, the top 10. There's huge gap between what a
top 3 makes per year and the number 20 player.

TonyP
Oct 20th, 2004, 12:36 PM
Those with sex appeal will be thought of as sex symbols, just as actresses with sex appeal are. Not all actresses have that trait and not all are sex symbols.

And the tennis players who do have appeal will make more money off the court than those without sex appeal. Endorsement contracts are not handed out as perks for good behavior or strong character or just because a player won often. Endorsements contracts for WTA players are just the same as any celebrity endorsement. They are based purely on popularity. They have nothing to do with expertise in the field. Martina Navratilova is one who has complained about not getting a lot of endorsement deals. But she was doing a car commercial a little while back. That was based purely on her fame. Just because she won Wimbledon nine times does NOT mean she knows anything about cars.

Martian Willow
Oct 20th, 2004, 12:49 PM
I don't have a problem with some players being attractive, being considered attractive and getting attention and endorsements because they are attractive. The only problem to me is when the game itself tries to sell itself on that basis. It's too shortsighted and unimaginative. It says there is a market that responds to that, and that market is very quick and easy to sell to. But it completely ignores the more difficult, longer term possibility of growing the market beyond that narrow layer of horny teenagers. It's cheap and easy to say 'sex sells', but you're giving up a lot of potential long term growth if you focus primarily on that. :)

Vass22
Oct 20th, 2004, 01:56 PM
I don't have a problem with marketing as symbol for the beautiful ladies..... I have a problem with non-marketing of not-so-beautiful-but-best-in-terms-of-tennis ladies. That seems to be a bit of a case in tennis.

Volcana
Oct 20th, 2004, 05:27 PM
I oppose it, principally because the reality is that it's marketing the players AS sex symbols, not as athletes. It is quite difficult to get a following for women's sports in the USA. The WNBA is hemoragging money, but the NBA is financing them. The WUSA folded. The LPGA makes less money then the Seniors tour.

If you can't get a fan base to take women seriously as athletes, you're always a short distance from financial difficulty.

The trouble with marketing based on anything other than athletics is that you can lose fans as quickly and as easily as you gain them. I would venture a guess that more of the people who started watching tennis because of Martina Hingis are still fans than people who started watching because of Anna Kournikova. Certainly I know a LOT of people who watched when Kournikova played who don't watch now.

On results, the players to market right now are Kuznetsova and Myskina, with Sharapova coming in third. Sex marketing dictates otherwise, which I could accept if I saw ANY marketing of Kuznetsova or Myskina.

Look at who made the finals of all the Tier II and up tournaments after Wimbledon.

Stanford ---- Davenport .... def V Williams
Los Angeles - Davenport .... def S Williams
San Diego --- Davenport .... def Myskina
Montreal ---- Mauresmo ..... def Likhovtseva
Olympics ---- Henin-Hardenne def Mauresmo
New Haven --- Bovina ....... def Dechy
US Open ----- Kuznetsova ... def Dementieva
Beijing ----- S Williams ... def Kuznetsova
Filderstadt - Davenport .... def Mauresmo
Moscow ------ Myskina ...... def Dementieva

Now let's take the Williams sisters out of it, since they are, to an extent, their own marketing phenomena. All of these players have either won at least a Tier II, or, in Dementieva's case, made a couple of finals. And she made the finals of RG and the US. The players have done the job in terms of making themselves visible.

Last year, there actually WAS an attempt to make Henin-Hardenne more visible. She's just been off the tour way more than on recently. But look at that list of names, and outside of the Williams sisters and Henin-Hardenne, who has the WTA made the effort to really make visible? Octagon and IMG are supposedly two of the best marketing firms in the world. But Myskina or Kuznetsova could walk through any airport in America unrecognized.
If ALL you know how to do is sex-marketing, yourun into trouble as soon as you don't have a sex symbol among your top players to market.

Helen Lawson
Oct 20th, 2004, 05:47 PM
I got tons more endorsements than Anna Magnani.

jean_genie
Oct 20th, 2004, 06:12 PM
I got tons more endorsements than Anna Magnani.

That's cause a glamourpuss like you couldn't even be bothered to be playing the psycho bereaved widow that she won that Oscar for. Rosario would never have left a dame like you for that blonde chick. ;)

Speaking of glamourpusses, I agree with Volcana's post entirely. Even the extremely affable and beautiful Mia Hamm couldn't help sustain the WUSA and why? Because the players are looked upon more as athletes than sexy women? Well, that belittles both their abilities and their attributes as women. It's a sticky situation this "sex symbol" marketing where the women are concerned. On the men, they can look like someone out of a horror flick but if they rule at the sport their in, then they can get some air time and money to boot.

I think it's unfair that Myskina (who is a beauty by the way), Dementieva (who fits all the critieria for someone's marketing dream), Kuznetsova or either of the Belgians would be hard pressed to be recognized in an airport by someone other than a person who regularly follows tennis. Maybe eventually everyone's results will determine their Q rating and not their looks.

Helen Lawson
Oct 20th, 2004, 06:21 PM
That's cause a glamourpuss like you couldn't even be bothered to be playing the psycho bereaved widow that she won that Oscar for. Rosario would never have left a dame like you for that blonde chick. ;).
:lol: You have a point, it would not have been believable casting for me to ahve that role, though I did win an Oscar for playing the very non-glamorous Barbara Graham, though I have to admit, I "prettied her up" a bit in my version! Plus, we made her innocent, pretty, let's see, we didn't mess with the truth too much.

Capster
Oct 20th, 2004, 06:25 PM
Tennis is a business and there is nothing anyone can do to change that *sigh*

Pengwin
Oct 20th, 2004, 06:30 PM
Sorry, toots, but tennis is a business too, and sex sells.

Henin-Hardenne looks like this though:

http://img47.exs.cx/img47/5803/henin.jpg

Helen Lawson
Oct 20th, 2004, 06:46 PM
Yes, and she won an Oscar over me, looks can help, but they're not everything!

http://www.sinequanon.it/immagini/Anna.magnani.jpg
L'anno dell'Oscar (1956)

cool bird
Oct 20th, 2004, 06:47 PM
Yon know what I have read some where that the Williams Sister are worth over 100 million dollers. that is huge for a tennis player. The williams sisters are just a bussiness on there own

jean_genie
Oct 20th, 2004, 07:05 PM
:lol: You have a point, it would not have been believable casting for me to ahve that role, though I did win an Oscar for playing the very non-glamorous Barbara Graham, though I have to admit, I "prettied her up" a bit in my version! Plus, we made her innocent, pretty, let's see, we didn't mess with the truth too much.

What are you talking about?? Babs not glamourous??? Did you get a look at those gams while she was taking the witness stand? Sell that tale somewhere else sister.

Greenout
Oct 21st, 2004, 01:29 AM
Sorry, toots, but tennis is a business too, and sex sells.

Henin-Hardenne looks like this though:

http://img47.exs.cx/img47/5803/henin.jpg



JHH came in at #3 right below Serena & Venus on the FORBES
power ranking in terms Sports. They listed as Serena & Venus
losing cred and on the decline in terms of marketing because
they weren't winning grand slams, and JHH on the rise due
to the winnings.

Maria is most definitely up in 2004.


The players with the 3 big new endorsements for 2004 are

Venus with American Express
Maria with Motorola phones
and Justine with Continental Airlines.

Where does this leave Myskina and Sveta? They won grand slams
and played more tennis than either of those above named 3.

The thing now is that if your not a standard issue beauty queen
and just a pure player- the increase in media with the internet
and inflation of tennis economy, standards have risen. You like
Justine must win have already become #1, won 3 Grand Slams
and an Olympic medal to register any sort of name recognition
or name drop in the media/newspaper/internet. Sveta and Myskina
are not there yet, so they are a difficult sell. Plus the media
has been harping on the injury issue, and it's still really debatable
in many tennis supporter circles or even sports journalists where
they really stand in the rankings or ablility. And remember
JHH is still obscure to the non-tennis public that happens to
avoid even watching WIMBLEDON once every summer!

It's not just WTA players w/out obvious sex appeal that have
problems- look at Roger. He was dropped this year by ROLEX.
They took on Andy and Juan CF instead! :tape: They did
keep Justine. :lol:

beauty_is_pink
Oct 21st, 2004, 01:34 AM
sex does sell. but it shouldnt.
its jus so degrading