Scholar Andrew Hughes on Women Sport in Australia

Andrew Hughes is a School of Management, Marketing & International Business lecturer at the Australian National University. He has written an article about the marketing of women in sport in Australia in 2011.

In his article he explains that most Australian sports women focus their marketing around sex appeal. This has been a trend in the marketing of Australian women for years. But is it time to change this marketing approach?

Hughes wants women sport to focus their marketing on the sport and not on the athlete. It’s about time that the sport is in focus in a country like Australia where sport is so important. Women do not longer need the calendars and men’s magazine ads.

The smarter athletes have realised the limitations of pure sex appeal and now focus on offering a personal brand that is attractive, intelligent and an excellent role model with on field and off field behaviour (Andrew Hughes).

An increasing number of female athletes are marketing their brand and moving away from sex appeal. Many of these athletes are Australian.

Hurdler and Olympic medallist Sally Pearson, cricketer and soccer player Ellyse Perry, basketballer Lauren Jackson and tennis player Samantha Stosur all are great examples of athletes that market their brand as a complete package (Andrew Hughes).

Netball is the best marketed women sport in Australia. A bank like ANZ does not want any negativity from their sponsorships and that’s why netball is such a good fit. When was the last time you heard of a netballer going clubbing and getting into trouble? Thought so.

So what women sport in Australia needs to do is to move away from sex appeal marketing and start to market the entire brand of the sport itself.

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Filed under Research, Women in Sport

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