Some additional thoughts to add to my previous blog on espnW.
I want to clarify a few points. I stated that I wanted mostly females journalists, bloggers, videographers and those who do content to be female on the espnW website. I did not say only females, I said a majority. Here is why: We lack females in positions of power in all roles in sport. What better way to provide visible role models for girls and other females who aspire to a similar career pathway in sport (whether it be athlete, journalist, coach, subject matter expert, editor, photographer) that to feature them on espnW! Research indicates girls are desperate for female role models and identify with same-sex role models more effectively (click here for some good information on how girls construct leadership). If you want to see the research on the lack of females in positions of power in sport click here , here, or here.
For those who respond to the birth of espnW by commenting “Zzzzzzzzzzzz”—don’t worry, espnW isn’t for you!! You are not the target market. Fans of men’s sport have a place to go for high quality, up to date sport news…it is called ESPN.com, all the ESPN TV channels and ESPN The Magazine. Fans (both male and female fans alike) of women’s sport and female athletes have not had a similar outlet to consume their sports and athletes they love and desperately want to follow, and now I hope we will. For fans of men’s sport and male athletes: How would you feel is all the products associated with ESPN, which have largely covered men’s sports, disappeared tomorrow? What would you do? Well imagine that scenario and you will have an approximation of how fans of women’s sport have historically felt.
Stay tuned, the battle and debate over the contested terrain of sport media and females getting a decent share is just beginning.
For those who think espnW will be a bore, you don’t have to visit espnW…but you might want to when you have a daughter.
3 Replies to “espnW: Thoughts Part II”
Although I don’t yet have a daughter (though I PRAY that I do), I’m excited about ESPNW for the same reasons that I follow Dr. Lavoi’s posts and celebrate the passage of Title IX more than 30 years ago: I LOVE seeing evidence that we are valuing women closer to the way the should be.
I happen to be a black man in my mid-30s (without children YET), so I wasn’t in anyway mentioned in Dr. Lavoi’s initial post, and that’s fine. I’ll just enjoy the gradual progression of women for when my daughter needs it while also continuing to see women’s athletics raise the collective self-esteem, regard and honor of all of us, even those who don’t even give a single thought or care to it…
Hi Dr. LaVoi,
I’m so glad to read this! I knew Dr. Kane was on the board but did not realize you are as well. I am very excited about this whole thing and wish they had more information up already. I used the initial facebook page and video clip from the retreat for discussion 2 weeks ago. My students really want more information, which is great. It was one of the best discussions we’ve had all year in all 3 sections. Many seemed concerned that this will let ESPN off the hook from having to cover women’s sports at all. I am hopeful but also concerned that if it does not do well for some reason that then ESPN will say “well, we tried” and use this as an excuse of some sort. But, given the current information on the facebook page it looks like there are enough strong women involved to make this work well – I’m glad to hear both directors of the Tucker Center are at the forefront! Do you have any idea why there is not info about this on the main ESPN website? I did a quick search and came up with nothing. Also, I noticed that the Womens Sports Foundation does not have much on their site about it yet either, even though I know Billie Jean King was a key person in getting this started. Any idea what’s going on there?
Thanks for posting your thoughts! I can’t wait to share those as an update for my class!
Dr. Kane and I will be doing a Tucker Table recap on the espnW retreat on Nov 11. Look for some video on our YouTube channel. -nml