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  1. #1

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    Women's Figure Skating Has Never Been So Unpopular

    Women's Figure Skating Has Never Been So Unpopular
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles...n-so-unpopular
    “Brands are looking for personalities that are going to break through. The poise that’s synonymous with figure skating” might be working against Gold and her fellow skaters in the bid for recognition, McBride says. Filip Bondy, a sports columnist for the New York Daily News who’s covering figure skating at Sochi, says skaters are often highly managed by their coaches, who keep them from saying anything remotely controversial. To some extent, the U.S. Figure Skating Association doesn’t “really understand that controversy is good for the sport,” he says.
    Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar View Post
    a sports columnist for the New York Daily News
    You almost lost me there

    Shawn McBride, a senior vice president at Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, says this is partly because the “demure, pixie-type” associated with the sport has fallen out of fashion.
    This is true. We're talking about a sport where a lady not wearing flesh-colored tights is controversial.

    Gold, Ashley Wagner, and Polina Edmunds—have almost no name recognition at all.
    I think the author of the article undermined Ashley Wagner especially...she must have at least a dozen brand contracts.

    That said, this makes me miss how un-PC Mirai was during the Vancouver Games. "I'm excited for the free stuff...Evan got a Rolex!" Oh, don't ever change.

  3. #3

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    I have not read the article yet, but it sounds like he is talking about FS in the USA, and not world wide. I believe it's very popular in Japan (although after Mao's retirement it could take a dip in womens FS), and I believe FS has always been popular in Russia. With so many talented young ladies on the horizon I see its popularity increasing rather than decreasing. Their glamor sports used to be pairs and ice dance, but now we are seeing a lot of single ladies that could contend for medals in the Olympics. So clearly he is not talking about the rest of the world.
    Last edited by Vash01; 01-24-2014 at 04:04 PM. Reason: I hate typos and I correct them whenever I can

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    From the article:

    She could take a cue from spunky gymnast McKayla Maroney, who gained fame when a picture of her “not impressed” face became a viral phenomenon after the medal ceremony at the 2012 Olympics. Maroney has more than 476,000 Twitter followers and is sponsored by brands such as Ralph Lauren (RL) and Adidas (ADS:GR). Last year, she finally revealed her “impressed face.” Not on the podium, but in a national ad for 7Up.
    If there is one thing Ashley can do well, it's give a "not impressed" look.

  5. #5
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    To some extent, the U.S. Figure Skating Association doesn’t “really understand that controversy is good for the sport,” he says.
    And that's hardly the only thing that the USFS doesn't understand.

  6. #6
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    Since most of Gracie Gold's Twitter profile is the names of her corporate sponsors, maybe someone needs to clue her in that ladies' skating is so unpopular
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

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    McKayla Maroney is a household name? I doubt any of my co-workers know who she is. A lot of these skaters are minors, their parents have a lot to say about what they can say or do. Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso are in their late 20's or early 30's. Figure skating is a sport with a lot of rules, technical as well as behavioral. Activities like that don't usually attract risk takers.

  8. #8
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    "If you chart the popularity of figure skating, it’s directly correlated to whether we have a female star,” Bondy says.

    Because men's figure skating is so, you know, *gay* and we just can't have that be popular, now can we. :-P
    Eys the good ol USA mentality of pretty female ice princesses and manly men do manly sports and figure skating is not reeeeealllly athletic.
    This article is so fricking full of old-school old-thought it's nauseating.
    It's also embarrassing. I apologize on behalf of all enlightened Americans. Please world, we are not all like this. Some of us do still have brains that function.
    Last edited by immoimeme; 01-24-2014 at 01:21 PM.
    PLUSHENKO YOU ARE ALWAYS THE BEST

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    Here's a simple two step action plan for USFS. Stage the two following fluff pieces for the Olympics:

    1) Have Mirai Nagasu chase after Polina Edmunds with a police baton. Edmunds gets whacked and "injured." She heroically skates through pain and who cares about the result (which will be about 10 placements higher than Nagasu's would be anyway ). She's so brave and courageous, becoming America's Sweetheart (tm).

    2) Have Ashley Wagner put rainbow earrings and nail polish on and run around Sochi waving rainbow flags, chased by Russian Police "Benny Hill" style, with Army of Lovers' "Sexual Revolution" blasting from her boombox on full volume.

    And there you go, women's figure skating suddenly becomes popular again. You're welcome, Pat!

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    I agree with Vash01. It seems popularity can seemingly stem from the talent pool of each country. At least in the U.S., American ladies have really dominated the ladies side since Peggy and Dorothy, especially when skating was first televised. Then we had Debbie vs Katrina, then Kristi, then the whole Nancy and Tonya fiasco, then the Michelle and Tara era, and then finally Sarah and Sasha. I believe popularity and endorsements come with good results. Sponsors won't roll the red carpet if you can't produce. Mediocre results can only take you so far.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Since most of Gracie Gold's Twitter profile is the names of her corporate sponsors, maybe someone needs to clue her in that ladies' skating is so unpopular
    She has these sponsors on the Olympic year but what about the other three years? That's probably where the major difference is between now and past decades, there are sponsorships but the agents need to fight for them a lot more and they are very specific in time.

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    If that television rating of .7 is accurate, that is pretty pathetic. Gracie does have the potential to be a star however, something we have been lacking in the US since Sasha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYScorp6 View Post
    If that television rating of .7 is accurate, that is pretty pathetic.
    The article said this was the January 11th broadcast. That would have been the ladies' long program, shown in prime time, not the short program, as the article said. The ladies LP was on at the same time as the Pats v. Colts game, NFL football playoffs. That game would have been expected to win the night, and it did.

    The ladies' long program, shown opposite the playoffs, came in third for the night, and IMO did well versus expectations, having scored a 0.7 in adults 18-49, which was up 40% percent from last year's 0.5.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  14. #14

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    Slightly OT: I was just looking at a picture of the 4CC pairs winners on Facebook. (Pasting it here, though I'm not sure it'll work.) Judging from the expression on her face, Alexa is interested in applying for the job of The Next McKayla.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    Slightly OT: I was just looking at a picture of the 4CC pairs winners on Facebook. (Pasting it here, though I'm not sure it'll work.) Judging from the expression on her face, Alexa is interested in applying for the job of The Next McKayla.
    Its just the camera angle! She's not really shooting poison darts with her eyes at Tara Kayne.

    Also probably belongs in the pairs 4CC thread...
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    Yeah, I know. But the "next McKayla" talk was in here, so that's why I mentioned it.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyliefan View Post
    Yeah, I know. But the "next McKayla" talk was in here, so that's why I mentioned it.
    ah!

    Can I ask a really ignorant question? I know about the look from McKayla, but I never knew what the context was, what was it?
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    ah!

    Can I ask a really ignorant question? I know about the look from McKayla, but I never knew what the context was, what was it?
    She was pissed off she won the silver medal and not the gold, when it was believed she was pretty much a lock (and her vault in the team event was probably one of the best vaults ever). It was really just a momentary smirk- she wasn't like that the entire ceremony.

  19. #19

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    Yes. But such is the power of the Internet age -- it only takes a split second to launch a thousand memes!
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYScorp6 View Post
    If that television rating of .7 is accurate, that is pretty pathetic. Gracie does have the potential to be a star however, something we have been lacking in the US since Sasha.
    Are there any ratings available for the Grand Prix events shown throughout the Fall?

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