Is this the way to market women snowboarding?
Sex sells. Even though I don’t really like it, It’s a fact and women have to deal with it . But this morning, when I read TW Biz newsletter about the new SI Winter swimsuit issue featuring 2 female snowboarders of the US Team, and after I checked it out, I really wondered if there shouldn’t be some limits.
Check out the link for more info: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010_swimsuit/winter/
I think it is great that woman snowboarding is being promoted in mainstream media especially right before the most publicized sporting event in the world. But should have it gone this far? Because, seriously, when you are done browsing the gallery, you are more wondering whether this is a joke or what the hell Hannah Teter, Claire Bidez and their sponsors were thinking about when they decided to go for it.
From the sponsors’ perspective, I guess, this is the perfect scenario for product placement. You can see a Burton beanie here and there, a snowboard with bunch of stickers on it, etc.
And for these girls, they are no longer a nobody, they are becoming these “sexy” snowboard chicks. I think the idea is good originally, showing that female snowboarders can go big, but also be sexy. But whoa, when you look at every single photo, you wonder if this type of athlete’s publicity is good for the sport. And I don’t think so. It gives a completely wrong representation of what snowboarding is. There are limits to what you can publish when you try to sell using “sex”, and in this particular case, too many pictures of HT and CB were I think too ridiculous for giving a good impression.
I am hoping that in the future, if female riders need to be marketed to the general public, it will be done more accordingly to the standards of what our sports are about. This was just too much. And I think that in this case, this is bad marketing, at least towards the action sports community.