Your suggestion gives me atavistic, archetypal shudders. It's like the Black Forest village that forces the beautiful maiden to marry the local ogre to save their own asses.
After reading through this thread again I find myself agreeing with some of the points that I disagreed with earlier on. Nothing against them as skaters, but there haven't been any real personalities in skating since Michelle retired. Even Evan's star dulled rather quickly until he was rumored to be living with Vera Wang! His declaration to come back for this Olympic year was really only interesting to figure skating fans and it quickly turned into a soap opera - he's good, he's injured, he's practicing, he's injured, will he or won't he. Jeremy Abbott, Ashley Wagner and Schnapir and Castelli are good athletes but they aren't very charismatic IMO. To the average viewer - they're not very interesting people without their skates. But discussing which came first, the chicken or the egg, the lack of TV coverage or the waning interest in the sport, seems kind of futile.
I have another theory that's probably silly but the commentators have been boring as hell until Johnny and Tanith and Tara came along. I personally got SO tired of listening to Dick Button wax on and on about spirals and edges, Peggy Fleming adding nothing to the mix, Scott Hamilton gushing about everything, Sandra Bezic always talking about a skater's signature move......and don't get me started on Peter Carruthers. I would have turned the sound off but then couldn't hear the music. They were boring to me.
But alas and alack, I don't have an answer for what to do about it. We can't grow interest if the public can't see the skating. Figure skating needs some stars that captivate the audience and make people want to go back and see that person again and again. I think Jason is a start whether it's his Riverdance, his ponytail, or his exhuberance on the ice. I think Gracie could create some interest because she's well-spoken, I think she's beautiful, and if she manages a top 10 at the Olympics she should get some good press. The USFSA needs to be more aggressive in getting figure skating out to the public, as well. It can't all be on the skaters. My son is a rugby player. Figure skating is not on his radar. But he did watch the Nats because I was there in Boston. He had some interesting comments to make but the only skater he really remembers is..............Jason!
(Would love for someone who works in the advertising industry to weigh in here. Although some older people have money to spend, advertisers much prefer the younger demographics, AFAIK.)
TV Media Insights does have a guy that has access to a few more demos than most media outlets get. I looked up the ladies FS, looks like it definitely skewed older percentage-wise, in case anyone was curious:
2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
Saturday the 11th (Ladies FS, 8-11 pm average)
Viewers: 4.183 million
W18-34: 0.7/2 (women 18-34 is a highly coveted demographic by advertisers)
Thank you for that insightful post, jimini.
How does 4.183 million compare to last year's Nationals?
As for personality and whether Gold should take a clue from McKayla ... the world doesn't know Gold's personality yet. She actually doesn't strike me as demure pixie type, even if she is pretty and blonde. Ashley is DEFINITELY not a demure type and she actually fits right into the Serena Williams/Lindsay Vaugh, McKalay Maroney mold of fierce lady competitors. But she's not at the very very top of her sport like they are.
Speaking of pixies ... Michelle Kwan was certainly a golden girl but a pixie? hardly.
If Gold wins a medal of any color at the Olympics, I think she will get loads of sponsorship regardless of her personality. We'll start seeing more of her personality then that'll be fun
And speaking of personalities, Polina Edmunds! I read that blog of on TSL that discussed her assured response to questions about whether she should get to go to the Olympics and I had to see the news conference myself. I had to agree. She showed amazing poise, quick-thinking and killer instinct for a 15 year old. I know I would never have showed such composure at that age. I can't wait to see more of this girl.
LOL all sports are great if you give them a chance and take some time to learn. Golf is super exciting to watch when good broadcasting and interesting commentators.
various donations, gifts for grand children etc
Just curious: what was being advertised on TV at US nationals?
And wondering, what's a "pixie"?
Davis and White should take a clue from McKayla Maroney. The ladies skaters just haven't won anything to justify popularity. US Gymnastics has gone through the late 90s-early 00s drought too. It's not weird. This is the weird part though, by the time the Olympics rolls around, it's almost always figure skating and gymnastics everyone is obsessively watching. Rating is going to be pretty high even when no one knows who Gold, Wagner and Edmunds are. As a typical four-year sport, the golden marketing period is after the Olympics, not before.
By all means though, who cares about these girls when there is Jason Brown, who is totally going to become a sensation despite not anywhere near the podium.
Does the article mention that Nationals was on Saturday night? Is it any surprise that the younger demographic wasn't watching? May USFSA should take that into account when scheduling there events.
2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Ladies Final
Viewers: 3.321 million