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Thread: Bloomburg Businessweek article: "Figure Skating FALL"

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CezarMart View Post
    You mentioned 18-49 demographic. What was the ratings in 50+ demographics? I am sure by my observations that the main figure skating audience is in that range and I don't know why it was ignored. The world doesn't have to be entirely decided by youth. We have some numbers too.
    The article doesn't mention the ratings for the 50+ demographic, merely stating the 18-49 demographic is "the most important group to advertisers." I agree with you that the ratings would be higher for the 50+ demo, and that people in the 50+ demographics have a lot of money. But Businessweek is by definition a business magazine, and their knowledge of the importance of specific demographic groups can't be discounted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    Maybe Ashley or Gracie should start dating someone famous like A-rod, George Zimmerman or become BFF with Jodi Arias. If that happens, everyone will know who Gracie or Ashley is.
    Scraping the bottom of the barrel, are we? Are there no people they could date who are famous because they are good?

    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.

  3. #18
    In search of a summer sport to love <3 desertskates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ks777 View Post
    Maybe Ashley or Gracie should start dating someone famous like A-rod, George Zimmerman or become BFF with Jodi Arias. If that happens, everyone will know who Gracie or Ashley is.
    Lamar Odom is back on the market. Ugh, I shudder at the thought of any of our US girls boarding that train to hell...

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    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!

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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    The article doesn't mention the ratings for the 50+ demographic, merely stating the 18-49 demographic is "the most important group to advertisers." I agree with you that the ratings would be higher for the 50+ demo, and that people in the 50+ demographics have a lot of money. But Businessweek is by definition a business magazine, and their knowledge of the importance of specific demographic groups can't be discounted.
    They have money, time and passion. And they come in numbers too. I don't understand why they are completely omitted the studies.

  6. #21
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CezarMart View Post
    You mentioned 18-49 demographic. What was the ratings in 50+ demographics? I am sure by my observations that the main figure skating audience is in that range and I don't know why it was ignored. The world doesn't have to be entirely decided by youth. We have some numbers too.
    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    The article doesn't mention the ratings for the 50+ demographic, merely stating the 18-49 demographic is "the most important group to advertisers." I agree with you that the ratings would be higher for the 50+ demo, and that people in the 50+ demographics have a lot of money. But Businessweek is by definition a business magazine, and their knowledge of the importance of specific demographic groups can't be discounted.
    Whether we like it or not, the reality is that TV advertisers care most about the younger demographics. Their decisions whether/when to buy advertising usually depend on whether younger viewers will tune in. And the TV networks will not broadcast figure skating unless they can attract advertisers for those time slots. Thus the importance of sponsors for U.S. skating such as Hilton, Puffs, Smuckers, etc.

    (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.)

    Quote Originally Posted by CezarMart View Post
    They have money, time and passion. And they come in numbers too. I don't understand why they are completely omitted the studies.
    It's not that Nielsen numbers aren't available for the older demographics. The Businessweek reporter chose not to cite them.

    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    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. ... 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!
    In terms of personality, Jason is way ahead of the U.S. ladies. He's got the natural "it" factor -- which I have not detected in the umpteen promos, fluff pieces, etc., that I have seen featuring the U.S. ladies (excluding Edmunds).

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    Quote Originally Posted by CezarMart View Post
    They have money, time and passion. And they come in numbers too. I don't understand why they are completely omitted the studies.
    It's not really about whether the over-49s have money. It's about how susceptible they are to advertising. Statistically speaking, as people age they tend to be brand-loyal (and/or unlikely to try new brands and/or products), tend to be more frugal than younger demographics (due to life experience!), less likely to buy fad products, etc. This is why most advertisers love paying for ads that reach the A18-49 demographic, and even more so A18-34.

    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)
    HH: 2.7/4.4
    Viewers: 4.183 million
    A18-49: 0.7/2.2
    A25-54: 1.0/2.5
    A18-34: 0.5/2
    W18-34: 0.7/2 (women 18-34 is a highly coveted demographic by advertisers)

  8. #23
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thank you for that insightful post, jimini.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    How does 4.183 million compare to last year's Nationals?

  10. #25
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-man View Post
    The decline in figure skating popularity has been discussed many times here. Now Busineesweek adds its view. The current issue of Businessweek has a fullpage article on the decline of figure skating in the US. It starts off noting the NBC nationals got a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 year old demographic, mentioning that some obscure show, 'Teen Mom 2,' gets a 1.7 rating in the same demo.

    The article documents the high point of interest, with the Harding/Kerrigan incidents and the years of Kwan. It contrasts those years with 2014. "But the American women headed to the 2014 Winter games in Sochi, Russia- a trio of blonds including Gold, Ashley Wagner, and Polina Edmunds-- have almost no name recognition at all." The article mentions Gold's and Wagner's sponsorships, but continues, "they're relatively small deals in the world of Lindsey Vonn . . . . Vonn was No. 8 in Harris interactive poll." "Julie Mancuso, Vonn's heir apparent, has already appeared on the cover of "Outside' magazine and has 51,000 followers on Twitter, Wagner and Gold are in the 20,000 range, and Edmunds has a mere 3,385 followers . . ."

    The article continues, "this is partly because the 'demure, pixie type' associated with the sport has fallen out of fashion. . . . The Harris poll also includes the Williams sisters and soccer players Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, all known more for their ouspokenness, aggression, speed and strength than their birdlike gracefulness."

    "Brands are looking for personalities that are goiong to break through. The poise that's synonomous with figure skating might be working against Gold and her fellow skaters in the bid for recognition" . . . "To some extent, the U. S. Figure Skating Association doesn't really understand that controversy is good for the sport." . . .

    The article continues that Gold has a lot of good features, very pretty, which could be a marketters dream, but "she's ranked ninth in the world right now."
    "If you chart the popularity of figure skating, its directly related to whether we have a female star." The article says Gold could take a clue from gymnast McKayla Maroney, known for the "not impressed face," who has 476,000 Twitter followers.
    I feel like the story brings up some interesting talking points but in the end it manages to both oversimplify and overthink the situation. Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner aren't huge stars because they haven't won any world or Olympic medals and that's it and that's all. Why should they be stars? Yuna, Caro, Miki and Mao are the last world champions. Guess what? They are all stars, even if not in the USA.
    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.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by chapis View Post
    Agree, figure skating would be very popular in US having world winners, I think figure skating is not very popular in Korea when Yuna is not competing. I hope Gracie works very hard and start to win gold medals so this will change. If people can tolerate to watch golf , I am sure they can tolerate to watch graceful people with music in their programs .
    That's what I thought, that the popularity for figure skating in US was because of the ladies beeing superior for such a long time.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmyers View Post
    An Irina Slutskaya type would fit with WIlliams and the soccer players but nothing is hated more in AMerican skating than Irina Slutskaya types!!!
    Irina was my favorite lady skater in her era

    Quote Originally Posted by jimini View Post
    It's not really about whether the over-49s have money. It's about how susceptible they are to advertising. Statistically speaking, as people age they tend to be brand-loyal (and/or unlikely to try new brands and/or products), tend to be more frugal than younger demographics (due to life experience!), less likely to buy fad products, etc. This is why most advertisers love paying for ads that reach the A18-49 demographic, and even more so A18-34.

    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)
    HH: 2.7/4.4
    Viewers: 4.183 million
    A18-49: 0.7/2.2
    A25-54: 1.0/2.5
    A18-34: 0.5/2
    W18-34: 0.7/2 (women 18-34 is a highly coveted demographic by advertisers)
    There should be lots of adverts to reach 54> people: health care products, medications,
    various donations, gifts for grand children etc

    Just curious: what was being advertised on TV at US nationals?

    And wondering, what's a "pixie"?

  12. #27
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    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.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    That's what I thought, that the popularity for figure skating in US was because of the ladies beeing superior for such a long time.

    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.



    Irina was my favorite lady skater in her era



    There should be lots of adverts to reach 54> people: health care products, medications,
    various donations, gifts for grand children etc

    Just curious: what was being advertised on TV at US nationals?

    And wondering, what's a "pixie"?
    Never mind the advertising. Any analysis of the ratings should take into account that it was up against an NFL playoff game. What Olympic sport is going to get stellar or even good ratings against the New England Patriots?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    How does 4.183 million compare to last year's Nationals?
    Also snagged from TV Media Insights:
    2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Ladies Final
    HH/Shr: 2.2/4
    Viewers: 3.321 million
    A18-49: 0.5/2
    A25-54: 0.7/2
    A18-34: 0.2/1
    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Just curious: what was being advertised on TV at US nationals?
    I can't remember all the ads I saw, but I know I saw US Bank, Prudential, Smuckers, CoverGirl, AT&T, and probably some P&G brands.

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