This is a re-post from a 2011 but the subject is fresh in my mind. I have edited and added to it so even if you read it last year, it is worth reading again (imho).
This last weekend I went to see the Kellogg’s Tour of Champions in Boston. It was a great show and the athletes in all disciplines looked great. What started me thinking about this was a podcast by GYMCASTIC a week ago where they interviewed Paul Rugerri. Men’s gymnastics needs a better marketing plan. (or maybe it just needs a plan). On a recent trip to Italy I was surprised how the general public had a basic idea of their men’s olympic team. Yes, it was a “prime time” event on TV but also these men were on TV talk shows and reality shows. They were used in commercials. Let’s face it, Men in gymnastics have beautiful bodies. I am not advocating the sexualization of our sport but at least they are Men and not Boys.
Just my thoughts. 11/13/12
There have been some great products which failed because of poor marketing. There have been some incredibly crappy products that made millions because of good marketing (and some luck).
In my opinion- such is the state of Men’s gymnastics in the USA. I have just returned from USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade show that was held with the VISA Championships. As a coach of women’s (girls) gymnastics, I don’t often get a chance to see a men’s competition. After watching the first day of competition I was so impressed. What a GREAT PRODUCT on the floor. The sad part was- there were very few spectators to see it. OK, it was a Wednesday night. Maybe the 2nd day, Friday night, would bring in more spectators. It was better, but still not good.
Face it- Gymnastics is the original X GAME. The original extreme sport.
You want to see people fly? We’ve got that.
You want to see people flip? We’ve got that.
You want to see guys risk their lives? Yea, we’ve got that too.
For girls gymnastics, we want to market the “All American Girl”. But that doesn’t work for guys. We don’t want the “All American” image. We want to Rebel, the bad ass. Look at the movies that are popular, look at the TV shows and even comic books. The Bad Boy image works.
Market that Image everywhere-
- On a cooking show
- On the Travel Channel
- On the Speednetwork
- On ESPN commercials during the X-games.
As a coach and former gymnast, I know (and believe) that gymnastics is the real base for all sports. Especially X-Game type stuff. THIS SHOULD BE OUR CALLING CARD.
Let’s see the men’s team roll up to workout on motor cycles. Go into the gym and show Shawn White how to do a triple-triple.
OK- time for me to breathe again