Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nike and the female athlete

Nike has just launched a new campaign aimed at selling women empowerment through athletic apparel. As the NYT points out, the campaign, designed after Nike interviewed 175 female athletes across the country, uses prominent athletes discussing their views on sexism and sports. Although provocative at the surface level, this campaign still ultimately relies on tired themes (witness the ad featuring Serena Williams, for instance) that won't move women's sports forward -- but it may sell more $9 Nike rubber bracelets.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Saturation coverage of athletes in trouble

The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism just published a report about coverage of off-field issues during 2006 in the Big Ten. One clear pattern that emerged was a hyper-focus on a handful of athletes (and former athletes) who were arrested or charged with crimes (from DUI to assault). The amount of coverage was disproportionate with the actual number of athletes involved in crime-related stories. Less than one percent of athletes were covered in relation to arrests or charges, although each was the subject of several, and sometimes a dozen, stories. For more, see our report.