I'm curious what people think is the quintessential skating fan?
According to what I've read, skating is the marquee event of the Olympics, because it draws tv's target audience of women ages 25-35. However, from what I've seen at skating events, the majority of audience members seem to be elderly (probably due to travel logistics). And from what I've read on internet forums, skating's most diehard fans seem to be children about college-age and under. And from personal experience, it seems that being a skating fan is more of an egocentric activity than social. If I was a marketer, this combination of groups would seem like a difficult one to resolve.
Additionally, except during the Olympics I find that people are not interested in talking about figure skating, and I can barely drag my friends to go to events with me. It's almost like one has to be a closet skating fan in society. I definitely don't consider it a sociable sport to like, or to participate in for that matter. When I was in college, watching skating was definitely not a dorm-get-together type of activity. Do you guys think that being a skating fan means being more anti-social or introverted than the average person?
Personally, I think that one of the reasons that skating is so unpopular is that it lacks star talent. Very few of the professionals ever knew how to put together an interesting routine. And many of the amateurs, with the exception of Kwan, Cohen, and Yagudin, skate just like... amateurs. I can understand how for many people, when they turn on the tv and see a splatfest and skaters with sloppy form and expressionless faces, it can be a turnoff. Then there are weird things on the ice like Plushenko and I understand why people reach for the remote. I'm even embarrassed to watch him. I think being a skating fan really tests our patience, but I always watch for those one or two brilliant performances out of every 100. But I think that the average joe just doesn't have that patience. I'd rather pay $200 to see the ABT perform at the Met, knowing that I'm going to see quality, than go to SOI. And when I watch something like a GP event, I'm not always sure if I'm not wasting my time. I feel bad for complaining, but I'm just saying that maybe it's one reason that skating's audience is not growing.