Why does the WNBA & women’s basketball just not work?
Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with this video?
In yesterday’s article, using mixed martial arts as an example, I focused on if women can be “women” and still promote their sport and their athletic abilities. In part two of this study, the next question is, “Why do a number of women’s sports succeed, yet basketball fails?” Where does basketball go wrong? It comes down to what is wrong with the above video, Basketball IS NOT Basketball.
When the WNBA launched its inaugural season in 1997, the motto was “We Got Next”. They marketed themselves as being the same product and the same skill level as the NBA, just with women. The logo is even similar to that of the NBA. Fast forward 15 seasons, the league still can’t turn a profit, teams have folded, and attendance barely reaches 9,000 fans per game. Women’s professional basketball fails for two reasons: their marketing strategy flat-out SUCKS, and because of that it amplifies exactly how much it fails to stack up to the men.
The biggest problem facing women’s sports is the raging feminists. It’s the “advocates” who say that women are objectified and don’t need to work as models or take pictures for attention. Just play your sport and people will watch. Are you sniffing glue? A woman’s femininity is essential to who she is. Why take that away. Here’s the brutal truth: YOU CAN’T DO WHAT WE CAN DO! At least not on our level. Tennis doesn’t market Maria Sharapova or Venus Williams to be equal to Roger Federer. MMA isn’t comparing Miesha Tate to Jon Jones. Track star Marion Jones was never compared to Michael Johnson. Each of these sports say, “Hey we’re athletes, but we’re also ladies.”
The WNBA is the biggest culprit of stripping the feminine aspect away, but then brings it up when it matters the least. Fans don’t want to hear that Candace Parker’s dunk was only the third in WNBA history. What happens when you build your brand to align with the men? You get a product that becomes a less interesting, less talented version of the NBA.
My lovely wife, who we’ll call “Mrs. J”, made an interesting comment yesterday when I discussed this topic with her. She stated, “In the 90′s, you’d watch Charles Barkley dunk on some guy and put his nuts on the guy’s shoulders, women can’t do that! The women’s game just doesn’t have that…swagger.” The point is that they shouldn’t, it’s not who they are.
Here’s my point, can women’s sports succeed? ABSOLUTELY. Should women be allowed to play and grow their sport? WITHOUT A DOUBT. But don’t piss in a cup and tell me it’s lemonade. Stop telling me the game is the same. Ladies should be able to be ladies and play their chosen sport without trying to draw comparisons. The overwhelming majority of sports fans and those that fund it are men. Do you need to pose for Playboy? No, but let us see your femininity and we will still appreciate your athletic prowess. When I see Gina Carano, Lolo Jones, Serena Williams, or Maria Sharapova, while I do look at them and say “Those ladies are HOT!”, in the same breath I acknowledge that they are the absolute best at what they do. These ladies aren’t just athletes…THEY’RE WOMEN!