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Thread: State of American Ladies: 2012-13 Season

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Look, get back to me when you realize comparing Serena and tennis to Ashley and skating is like comparing gold to dirt.

    Serena received 2.1 million dollars for winning the US Open.

    What did Ashley get for winning the US Ladies Figure Skating championship last season?

    I bet it didn;t even cover her expenses.....

    But bringing up a comparison between a successful sport and a struggling sport is good....

    Now is typically the time to hear from posters who bring on terms like "mission statement" and "for the benefit of participating skaters."

    If it is true "the meek shall inherit the earth" isn't it also true "the strong will win skating championships"?


    I think some of what is being missed is how USFS approaches marketing their athletes.

    I would propose that there are two mindsets at USFS or areas of focus

    1.....a group that is actually concerned about the sport itself and how the athlete competes..do they achieve their goals, do they make the podium, what does the athlete and their team need to do to achieve a spot on the podium.
    and
    2. Then there is the other side of USFS...the marketing group, whose focus SHOULD be...how do we promote the sport of figure skating and the athletes/personalities that are currently competing for USFS. How do we market each discipline? Do we go after a broad audience...just because it is figure skating...or do we try to define the demographic ...and market each discipline...singles, pairs, dance, synchro, adult, LTS....or divide and conquer....the athleticism and the artistry. I think USFS does struggle to define what the sport's niche is and what it COULD be. They have so narrowly defined themselves over the past years, relying on one face/star to be the force behind their marketing strategy (Kwan, and for a very brief period, Meissner and Lysacek)...that they got lazy, and fell way behind the times.

    So, instead of being pro-active, they are reactive....and just basically fail to plan (and therefore, plan to fail) an initiative. Take for example...the ShibSibs vids....very creative, and it lets us, the consumer, see a side of the athletes that USFS is unable to promote, for whatever reason.

    So, collectively, could USFS come up with a business/marketing plan? Yes. Is it likely that they will do it, probably not. Could they hold a round table discussion with the marketing groups/agents/promoters of the athletes and brain storm for new ways to help build their audience? Yes, but is it going to happen, not likely.

    So, USFS (and quite frankly, the ISU)...will just rely on the Olympic four year cycle to promote the sport.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    I think Czisny got the biggest gift of all, actually. Of course, the reason she only has 1 event is because she turned the second one down. But the fact that she even had such an option is just
    The fact that she got even one is because the ISU rules require it. Any skater who is in the top twenty in ISU rankings is automatically guaranteed at least one spot, and so are skaters in the top 20 on the season's best list.

    Alissa was fourth in ISU ranking in the 2011-2012 season (2850 points) and eighth in season's best (179.15 at Eric Bompard). If NHK was the last to draw and no one had taken Alissa yet, they had no choice but to invite her.

    Plus...why wouldn't they? If she is fully recovered by December, great. If she can go only half speed, even so, what has NHK lost by inviting her?

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
    I think some of what is being missed is how USFS approaches marketing their athletes.

    I would propose that there are two mindsets at USFS or areas of focus

    1.....a group that is actually concerned about the sport itself and how the athlete competes..do they achieve their goals, do they make the podium, what does the athlete and their team need to do to achieve a spot on the podium.


    and
    2. Then there is the other side of USFS...the marketing group, whose focus SHOULD be...how do we promote the sport of figure skating and the athletes/personalities that are currently competing for USFS. How do we market each discipline? Do we go after a broad audience...just because it is figure skating...or do we try to define the demographic ...and market each discipline...singles, pairs, dance, synchro, adult, LTS....or divide and conquer....the athleticism and the artistry. I think USFS does struggle to define what the sport's niche is and what it COULD be. They have so narrowly defined themselves over the past years, relying on one face/star to be the force behind their marketing strategy (Kwan, and for a very brief period, Meissner and Lysacek)...that they got lazy, and fell way behind the times.

    So, instead of being pro-active, they are reactive....and just basically fail to plan (and therefore, plan to fail) an initiative. Take for example...the ShibSibs vids....very creative, and it lets us, the consumer, see a side of the athletes that USFS is unable to promote, for whatever reason.

    So, collectively, could USFS come up with a business/marketing plan? Yes. Is it likely that they will do it, probably not. Could they hold a round table discussion with the marketing groups/agents/promoters of the athletes and brain storm for new ways to help build their audience? Yes, but is it going to happen, not likely.

    So, USFS (and quite frankly, the ISU)...will just rely on the Olympic four year cycle to promote the sport.
    Thanks for such an interesting and thoughtful post. I think you "hit it out of the park."

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebonnet View Post
    I don't think putting Daisuke Takahashi and Yuzuru Hanyu in the same NHK Trothy is good for the skaters.
    I think it's great for all concerned -- the skaters, the sponsors of NHK, and the sport of figure skating in general. I might even watch it on whatever Internet coverage is available. (I don't think I'll be watching Skate America.)

    Edited to add: No wait, I take it back. In the SA men's division top U.S. guys Abbott and Lysacek are going against a great international field including Hanyu, Kozuka, Verner and Brezina.

    Then I'll switch over to dance and see what Weaver and Poje and Tobias and Stagniuas have come up with this year.
    Last edited by Mathman; 10-04-2012 at 03:22 PM.

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think it's great for all concerned -- the skaters, the sponsors of NHK, and the sport of figure skating in general. I might even watch it on whatever Internet coverage is available. (I don't think I'll be watching Skate America.)

    Edited to add: No wait, I take it back. In the SA men's division top U.S. guys Abbott and Lysacek are going against a great international field including Hanyu, Kozuka, Verner and Brezina.

    Then I'll switch over to dance and see what Weaver and Poje and Tobias and Stagniuas have come up with this year.
    I couldn't agree more- and I will watch Skate America for the same reasons.

    Wouldn't it be nice if there was a better Ladies competition at SA?

    It could have been a promoter's dream - narrated effectively by a shrieking Scott

    "She captured our hearts in Vancouver and is back at Skate America after five years." (obviously MIRAI )

    "She is the defending US Champion with hopes of winning her first Skate America and dreams of a World Championship later this season."

    "And she represents the future -........... or is her future now! Meet USA hopeful Gracie Gold as she goes up against the USA and world's best skaters."

    Back in the day 16 year old Sasha and Sarah coud do it - why can't 17 year old Gracie atleast get a shot ??

    Add a little dramatic music with clips of the skaters and - voila - the possibilty of presenting skating as an exciting sport becomes a reality.

    If the promos would tell the truth - "here is the US champion in a competition set up for her to win".......snooze..zzzzzzzzzzz puke, LOL, grab clicker and put on football....anything but another skating cheesefest

    Sometimes you get what you pay for ...........

    Or, "you made your bed, now go SLEEP in it"

    Or "you can fool some of the people some of the time.....but YOU CAN'T FOOL.......yada, yada ..........you get it.....

    Why does skating have to be so LAME when it has so many possiblities
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-04-2012 at 05:11 PM.

  6. #186
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    Can you expound on how you would handle Gracie?
    Sure. My philosophy is quite simple:

    WAIT AND SEE.

    Time and time again we see skaters pre-hyped before they produce anything. Caroline Zhang in 2008 is likely the most prominent recent example of this. Where is she now?

    If we go further back...how about Cohen in 2000-2002? Czisny in 2005? EHughes in 2006? And more recently, Zawadzki last season (remember Scott Hamilton's declaration on NBC - something to the tune of future nat'l champ?). And then she struggled for a season and a half. Now we're beginning to see it with Gold (ever read Hersh's articles?) and I don't like it one bit. Once she actually starts producing RESULTS, then you can start the hype engine. For example, I don't mind the hype of Wagner this season because she has SHOWN what she is capable of through RESULTS last season. Once Gold has that kind of a run or better (might happen soon, later, or it may not happen at all) then we can talk promotion, hype, etc. But until then?

    Sit back and watch. It's all you can do. Otherwise you put too much pressure on her.
    Last edited by R.D.; 10-04-2012 at 06:54 PM.

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  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    Sure. My philosophy is quite simple:

    WAIT AND SEE.

    Time and time again we see skaters pre-hyped before they produce anything. Caroline Zhang in 2008 is likely the most prominent recent example of this. Where is she now?

    If we go further back...how about Cohen in 2000-2002? Czisny in 2005? EHughes in 2006? And more recently, Zawadzki last season (remember Scott Hamilton's declaration on NBC - something to the tune of future nat'l champ?). And then she struggled for a season and a half. Now we're beginning to see it with Gold (ever read Hersh's articles?) and I don't like it one bit. Once she actually starts producing RESULTS, then you can start the hype engine. For example, I don't mind the hype of Wagner this season because she has SHOWN what she is capable of through RESULTS last season. Once Gold has that kind of a run or better (might happen soon, later, or it may not happen at all) then we can talk promotion, hype, etc. But until then?

    Sit back and watch. It's all you can do. Otherwise you put too much pressure on her.
    I disagree with this on several levels (or maybe I miss your point)

    First - where is the "hype" you are talking about? Do you honestly think even one out of 100 Americans knows who Gracie is?
    How about one out of a thousand...or 10 thousand?

    Are you are referring to skating board chatter

    Second - the lack of promotion is killing skating. IMO there is nowhere near enough promotion of skating in USA, it's top skaters and particularly it's rising stars.

    How can something or someone be considered "over-hyped" when they are basically unknown?

    If anything US Skaters appear to be under-hyped.
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-04-2012 at 09:50 PM.

  9. #189
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    More generally, while I know we say wait-and-see, I do think there is value to be had in promoting the next generation now. Nothing wrong with celebrating yesterday, today and tomorrow here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    More generally, while I know we say wait-and-see, I do think there is value to be had in promoting the next generation now. Nothing wrong with celebrating yesterday, today and tomorrow here.
    Can I ask - when you say "here" do you mean at GS?

    I was happy to see Alex Morgan on a coca-cola billboard in LA.

    Is that the samething as a gushing post at a skating board?

    Is Alex over-hyped? Soccer fans know who she is (maybe some Sports Illustrated readers too after the last Swimsuit issue) but she is not anywhere near as well known as Hope or Abby yet.

    But Alex is the future of US Ladies Soccer and I think it is not just good but necessary to promote her and even "hype" her.

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...mb=w2f5G38cvu1
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-04-2012 at 07:58 PM.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Can I ask - when you say "here" do you mean at GS?

    I was happy to see Alex Morgan on a coca-cola billboard in LA.

    Is that the samething as a gushing post at a skating board?

    Is Alex over-hyped? Soccer fans know who she is (maybe some Sports Illustrated readers too after the last Swimsuit issue) but she is not anywhere near as well known as Hope or Abby yet.

    But Alex is the future of US Ladies Soccer and I think it is not just good but necessary to promote her and even "hype" her.

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...mb=w2f5G38cvu1
    What money are you proposing the USFSA use for all this advertising?

    Also, I very much agree with the Wait-And-See approach. US Figure Skating had several "hyped" future stars that did not pan out in the years from 2007-2009, and it certainly didn't help their image or the image of figure skating in general. What if Gracie buckles under pressure or gets injured? Then skating is once again left without a star.

    It seems like many people on figure skating boards have billed her as the savior of US Figure Skating. It's a little early to do that- she only has a couple of non-major senior competitions under her belt.
    Last edited by MoonlightSkater; 10-04-2012 at 08:39 PM. Reason: grammar

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonlightSkater View Post
    What money are you proposing the USFSA use for all this advertising?

    Also, I very much agree with the Wait-And-See approach. US Figure Skating had several "hyped" future stars that did not pan out in the years from 2007-2009, and it certainly didn't help their image or the image of figure skating in general. What if Gracie buckles under pressure or gets injured? Then skating is once again left without a star.

    It seems like many people on figure skating boards have billed her as the savior of US Figure Skating. It's a little early to do that- she only has a couple of non-major senior competitions under her belt.
    Without knowing anything about their budget and operating expenses it is not possible to answer your question.
    In a general sense if they don't have the money then they would need to find/raise it.

    Where there is a will there is a way. Also not every idea has to necessarily cost alot of money.

    For instance why couldn't D/W appear on DWTS on the Tuesday results show which features different guest dancers and performers.

    Maybe they could dance (no skates) or maybe use that new artificial surface for a routine or better yet a taped routine done on ice to be introduced by them on the show?

    Whatever - I bet the DWTS audience - Live and TV would like to see them and knwo more about them.
    Is that a bad idea? Then different ideas need to be explored.


    I get confused by all this "pressure" being put on skaters. Exactly what pressure do you mean? Is it the pressure of expectation?
    There has to be that and if the skater doesn't have it they most likeley won't get very far.

    Do you mean skating board expectations? Yikes, I hope that is not it

    Do you mean pushy parents or overbearing coaches?

    Is NBC who you mean. Like how dare they plug a new skater and put pressure on her?

    Is it US Skating officials? Maybe if they gave Gracie SA at 17 it would be too much pressure? Geez lots and lots of US skaters competed at SA before they were 17.

    Why would anybody hope to be a champion skater and never expect any pressure?

    Pressure is necessary.......and part of any competitive sport.

    A poster recently said in jest, maybe Marta Karolyi should pick the team

    Maybe hat's not such a bad idea ...... let these skaters find out what a really tough camp is all about- and where nothing less than winning is the expectation.
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-04-2012 at 10:24 PM.

  13. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    For instance why couldn't D/W appear on DWTS on the Tuesday results show which features different guest dancers and performers.

    Maybe they could dance (no skates) or maybe use that new artificial surface for a routine or better yet a taped routine done on ice to be introduced by them on the show?
    What does ABC get out of promoting D/W and figure skating? They no longer have skating on their line up or on ESPN... they'd see it as free advertisement for NBC.

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    What does ABC get out of promoting D/W and figure skating? They no longer have skating on their line up or on ESPN... they'd see it as free advertisement for NBC.
    Not everybody who appears on DWTS is affilaited with ABC. I've seen dancers from Argentina and Brazil,etc.

    What DWTS could get is a terrific segment which is always good. In fact that is the goal and what keeps ratings up.

    What D/W and US Skating could get would be exposure on a highly rated TV show with viewers who like dancing. Maybe many might be interested to watch more ice dancing after seeing D/W.

    Something like that would be wonderful promotion and not expensive....in fact D/W could make money some doing it.

    BTW, Letterman had the Fierce Five on his CBS show. Did that help NBC?

    That is not an issue....Letterman had them on because he thought it would be fun and help his ratings....
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-05-2012 at 07:44 AM.

  15. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Wouldn't it be nice if there was a better Ladies competition at SA?

    It could have been a promoter's dream - narrated effectively by a shrieking Scott

    "She captured our hearts in Vancouver and is back at Skate America after five years." (obviously MIRAI )

    "She is the defending US Champion with hopes of winning her first Skate America and dreams of a World Championship later this season."

    "And she represents the future -........... or is her future now! Meet USA hopeful Gracie Gold as she goes up against the USA and world's best skaters."
    And then the viewers in front of the TV said, "Who cares?! Let's change the channel to football. It's 'Sunday night, the football night.'"


    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    If the promos would tell the truth - "here is the US champion in a competition set up for her to win".......snooze..zzzzzzzzzzz puke, LOL, grab clicker and put on football....anything but another skating cheesefest
    Gee, I thought you knew how to promoting and marketing. In this case, who prevented you to say the similar things you've said the above?

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