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Tour de France & TDF Femmes

Flicking channels I watched a bit of the TDF Femmes last night, it sort of exposes the elephant in the room when you discuss equal rights and prize money, etc., etc.. As much as I love to support the girls sport, the event and atmosphere was pretty ordinary compared to the men.

It's a bit sad, but I have to wonder if it wasn't law I wonder if it would even be broadcast, and I know it's just not fair, but that fact won't change what it is!

There on the avenue and almost nobody is watching!


It was like watching the stragglers at the Olympic Marathon after the party and crowd has already moved on with the winners. I have no idea how the organisers can fix that, why do they even need a separate event, can't the whole lot head off together each day on the main event?
The Force Awakens!

Re: Tour de France & TDF Femmes

Reply #1
Sponsorship. 

It costs them almost nothing to have women on there, and would generate bucketloads of sponsorship revenue in return.

Women's sports cost men very little and yields more income and eyes on the sport as a consequence.  All of a sudden, you will sell bikes, shoes, helmets, and clothing to the 52% of the population who may not have been interested in a mens only sport.

Call me a cynic if you like, but the realist in me states that they wouldnt throw money away for no gain.
"everything you know is wrong"

Paul Hewson

Re: Tour de France & TDF Femmes

Reply #2
Call me a cynic if you like, but the realist in me states that they wouldnt throw money away for no gain.
Apparently in the EU there are aspects of this that are part of law now, if you don't provide the resources equally you risk getting fined, taxed or lose the license to hold the event.

I understand the market forces, but I don't see the growth opportunity for the isolated event in something like cycling. There has been no barrier to female cyclists in the past, and at Olympic level they are just as high in profile as the men.

I feel if there is to be female professional sport on equal financial terms then it has to be supported by proportionally representative crowds. This is the part I do not get, because no crowd basically means no market.

Another example of this, when I was last in the UK for a few weeks a couple of years ago, I went to watch an EPL Women's game on a Saturday afternoon, it was on within walking distance of where I was staying and I saw it starting on TV in the pub I was having lunch at. When I got there the setup was basically orchestrated to provide a crowd for TV, all the spectators restricted to one side of the ground opposite cameras, like going to a VFL game and only being allowed to use 1/4 of the available stands. I felt cheated. From what I had seen on the broadcast I was expecting a stadium with a crowd, and when I got there it was basically a lie. The bar staff had actually hinted a warning to me, I didn't take note. The game wasn't a bad game, the girls are good in their own way and I was open to accepting a different type of event, but the false expectation basically ruined the experience.
The Force Awakens!

Re: Tour de France & TDF Femmes

Reply #3
Don't watch the bikes, so don't care about that side of things.

But for women in sport in general, its a difficult equation to nut out.

Now, firstly, as you probably know i'm a big advocate for the AFLW and am all over that side of things. So i'm definitely not against women in sport.

However, why do people watch sport? To see elite athletes perform at the highest level.
Now, as a kid, for me elite athletes meant Olympics. "Citius, Altius, Fortius aka Faster, Higher, Stronger"
...and thats what i want to see. I don't care if its male or female....i want to see that.

So, do i want to watch the women going a little bit slower, a little bit lower, a little bit weaker by comparison? Not really. I mean, i still watched whatever was on, but it wasn't as interesting because i just saw the men throw the javalin 15m furtheran hour ago.

The same logic translates to other sports as well.

Its the same logic with underage stuff as well.
I don't wanna watch little league baseball on ESPN either, but that doesn't mean i don't respect the kids and how good they are at that age.


So, back on topic, does that translate to elite sports nowadays? I think so. Given that "eyeballs on sets" and "Bums on seats" influences how much money gets put into the sport.....can we really expect equal pay for women?

Personally, i think Men largely get paid too much, and women get paid way unders.
But there is a difference between closing the pay gap, and calling it equal.

Am i way off base?

Re: Tour de France & TDF Femmes

Reply #4
Personally, i think Men largely get paid too much, and women get paid way unders.
But there is a difference between closing the pay gap, and calling it equal.

Am i way off base?
On target.

Years ago when I was involved in juniors the team had a sports psych who also happened to be a mum to one of the players. She had a daughter as well as two boys, and at a dinner event we had this very discussion about equal pay in sport. All the same issues were covered that we've discussed here, and the thing that caught me out was she was far more practical than I expected. As a uni graduate I expected something radical, but she summed it up as this. When she goes to watch sport, outside of watching family or friends, she pays to go to watch the best of the best, the 2nd best or the also rans, but the best. For her participation was key, and female sport was far too important to live or die based on the salary people earned, and no matter what that was she was unlikely to go to watch the girls.

btw., That psych was the person who taught me the "Jedi mind trick" to treat the female version of sport as a different sport and therefore you can't / won't judge it relative to the men. AFLW is not AFL, never was never will be!
The Force Awakens!