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Thread: Which skater's performance at Sochi 2014 is most likely to boost the sports popularity?

  1. #91
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    IN the case of Jason I am not sure he is going to draw anyone new other than make the old fans happy.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    IN the case of Jason I am not sure he is going to draw anyone new other than make the old fans happy.
    Any candidate to fit this thread's title will have to be at least in the last group to skate. Non skating fans will not remember the name of anyone less.

  3. #93
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    The sport's popularity is only in the pits in the US, elsewhere doesn't really need a 'boost.' That said, I think Gracie doing well here could really help skating's popularity. She's got the face and the jumps and she's still young enough to become WC. For the people who think you need to be more winsome with soundbites (like Ashley is) or culturally sensitive, two words: Nancy Kerrigan.

    What skating really needs though to get a boost in the US is someone like Sam Cesario to become WC.

  4. #94
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    I'd hate to say it but if we had a rivalry between a few of the ladies and there was some underlying tension of some sort (i.e. mutual dislike) it would help. Everyone in the US loves drama

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by noskates View Post
    BigDeal - is there some reason you left Davis and White out of your list?

    Yes, it is.
    Their possible win is not engaging in that way to create more fans for the sport.
    I like them, but they are more "roboting" than emotionally involved in anything. The biggest emotion of theirs is Charlie's constantly repeated "dying drama" after every single performance while the lady of the couple has to support him.
    This uberdrama creating the feeling "they left everything on the ice" is annoying because seems to be fake.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Any candidate to fit this thread's title will have to be at least in the last group to skate. Non skating fans will not remember the name of anyone less.
    True. Maybe in time but having a John CURRY type skater like Jason is bound to please skating enthusiasts already but I doubt will bring more fans (increase). Sadly marketablility or target marketing is important whether it beculure, gender, sexuality, age groups etc. Jason's appeal probably is already covered but he could develop. If we had another Kurt Browning or Elvis or JOubert or Candelero and maybe Jason could fill that void but on top of this he still needs to e in he last group and highly competitive THat is so true. I am not sure he is right there yet.

  7. #97
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    I'm going to go with either of the Russian ladies. They would have to skate out-of-this-world, but the Tara scenario is not impossible. And at home. In Russia. A female singles skater making a big splash. With all those other talented girls already in the pipeline to support an expanded interest in ladies singles. (This is also the big-pressure conundrum for young skaters competing at home in their first Olympics. NOT easy. Ask Carolina or Patrick).

    As for Korea, I think we should give it another four years before we see how Yuna has impacted figure skating there. When gymnastics was becoming popular in the U.S., it ran more in an 8 year cycle. (84-Mary Lou, 88-no big stars, 92 & 96-Kim Zmeskal & the Magnificent 7, 2000-no big stars, 2004--Carly Patterson. It's the little six-to-eight-year-old girls who see the big star, flood the gyms, and 8 years later are old enough to bring home the hardware. Especially with Korea gearing up to fund their sports in preparation for hosting the coming Olympics.

    It generally takes longer than 4 years to see the impact in a new country or discipline. You could say that is true in Russian singles, with Irina & Maria making such strides before Salt Lake, then almost no one except Volchkova & now so many young single ladies. And in Japan there was a drought after Midori Ito, but look how many stars they have now.

  8. #98
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    It's interesting that you picked gymnastics as a comparison, because it's now considered a substantial sport in the U.S., but yet it's not really a universally known and followed sport in this country. Most general sports fans wouldn't know the names of our big gymnasts, possibly except Gabby Douglas. But the U.S. has nonetheless become a world power in the sport, and there's clearly a constant stream of good young gymnasts coming up (female ones, at least; I'm not up on the state of men's gymnastics). Similarly, a lot of people know who Shaun White is and recognize him in ads but don't follow snowboarding at all. They just watch his amazing skills when the Olympics comes around every four years.

    I think that skating can advance as an important niche sport here, with the U.S. providing a new dynasty of world stars to excite a steady fan base and to interest an outer ring of "drop-in" fans and viewers for the Olympics. That in itself would be commercially viable.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    I think in the U.S., it is quite unlikely that ANY SPORT, including figure skating, will ever be as popular as the big four sports (baseball, football, basketball and soccer). Sure you have flashes of attention, but for the most part, sports outside of those top four don't get a ton of attention from the general public.

    Sure you may have a few breakout starts, but those starts don't always compel people to pay more attention to the sport. For example, I know who Lindsay Vonn and Lolo Jones are, but I would be hard pressed to spend more of my time watching skiing, hurdles or bobsled.

    I think most sports are smart to appeal to the NICHE rather than try to chance itself to appeal to the general masses, at least in the U.S.

    That said, it is possible for a sport to gain more popularity. An example of that is soccer in the U.S. thanks to the expansion of Major League Soccer or obviously skating in Japan. But if I was U.S. Figure Skating, I'd focus less on appealing to football fans/general public and try to figure how to boost my popularity within specific demographics/groups.
    If you go onto Youtube you find a lot of reasons why figure skating is losing popularity. I think even if you really examined the major sports you would find that much of their success comes from their size; their popularity has more to do with social gravity than any inherent quality of personal joy. I watch football less and less these days because frankly it's kind of boring unless you know the intricacies of the sport of which so many fans can't or don't. The funny thing is I will spend way more time reading about it than watching it; to see how My heroes or MY team is doing. Then there are the trends by many younger folks embracing sports that are less about competition, more about lifestyles; martial arts, skate boarding, parkour etc., or sports like you see with the X-games. And let's not forget the monster video games have become now and how much time that takes up. I think figure skating's decline might just be another casualty of the major upheavals our culture is going through. Everyone talks (as I do) about how in Japan figure skating is so popular because it has stars. I wonder if the real truth of it resembles more why baseball became so popular in Japan? I have a feeling there is something more cultural going on there that we aren't fully cognizant about here in the West. Maybe the reality is that in this day and age we can't force anything and have to just "let go" and allow the center of gravity to be where it is, in Asia keeping the sport alive and hope that one day we here in the West can and will organically/culturally re-embrace the sport.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by RABID View Post
    If you go onto Youtube you find a lot of reasons why figure skating is losing popularity. I think even if you really examined the major sports you would find that much of their success comes from their size; their popularity has more to do with social gravity than any inherent quality of personal joy. I watch football less and less these days because frankly it's kind of boring unless you know the intricacies of the sport of which so many fans can't or don't. The funny thing is I will spend way more time reading about it than watching it; to see how My heroes or MY team is doing. Then there are the trends by many younger folks embracing sports that are less about competition, more about lifestyles; martial arts, skate boarding, parkour etc., or sports like you see with the X-games. And let's not forget the monster video games have become now and how much time that takes up. I think figure skating's decline might just be another casualty of the major upheavals our culture is going through. Everyone talks (as I do) about how in Japan figure skating is so popular because it has stars. I wonder if the real truth of it resembles more why baseball became so popular in Japan? I have a feeling there is something more cultural going on there that we aren't fully cognizant about here in the West. Maybe the reality is that in this day and age we can't force anything and have to just "let go" and allow the center of gravity to be where it is, in Asia keeping the sport alive and hope that one day we here in the West can and will organically/culturally re-embrace the sport.
    Great point about "social gravity." I'm experiencing it now, actually. I am in the land of the Seattle Seahawks, which won its first Super Bowl on Sunday. I don't even live in Seattle (I'm about two hours away), but the amount of community togetherness this whole event has generated in Seattle and throughout Washington state is amazing to me. I mean we're talking some businesses closing to let their employees watch the Super Bowl with family friends, 12th man flags all over town, everyone wearing Seahawks gear. And who wants to bet a majority of those folks cheering would be hard pressed to explain the safety that happened in the first 12 seconds of the game.

    The Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl in 2006 (I hadn't moved yet to Washington at the time), but my husband says that the amount of community buzz was nowhere what it was for this go around. And part of that was driven by a ragtag group of players that are endearing. You got the down-to-earth quarterback (Russell Wilson) trying to prove you don't have to be a tall guy to win games, the fun-loving social media trash talking cornerback (Richard Sherman) and the Skittles-loving, media-hating running back (Marshawn Lynch). Then you throw in the combeback wide receiver who was injured for much of the season but came back for the Super Bowl and ran 87 yards at a kickoff for a touch down (Percy Harvin). And then you got the college football coach who many thought wouldn't amount to anything in the NFL (Pete Carroll).

    Many that just made me want to watch that Super Bowl game again...Oh wait! So yeah, some sports just have the ability to bring people together IN SPITE of a lack of technical knowledge. Figure skating isn't at that point and it's unclear whether it will ever get there. We got a taste of it when J. Brown had his viral Riverdance, but as I said earlier I'm not sure that will be sustainable in the long-term.

    So I agree that figure skating might have to ride with the changing culture of the U.S. and again is better served to accommodate its niche customer base during the non-Olympic years.

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. P View Post
    Great point about "social gravity." I'm experiencing it now, actually. I am in the land of the Seattle Seahawks, which won its first Super Bowl on Sunday. I don't even live in Seattle (I'm about two hours away), but the amount of community togetherness this whole event has generated in Seattle and throughout Washington state is amazing to me. I mean we're talking some businesses closing to let their employees watch the Super Bowl with family friends, 12th man flags all over town, everyone wearing Seahawks gear. And who wants to bet a majority of those folks cheering would be hard pressed to explain the safety that happened in the first 12 seconds of the game.

    The Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl in 2006 (I hadn't moved yet to Washington at the time), but my husband says that the amount of community buzz was nowhere what it was for this go around. And part of that was driven by a ragtag group of players that are endearing. You got the down-to-earth quarterback (Russell Wilson) trying to prove you don't have to be a tall guy to win games, the fun-loving social media trash talking cornerback (Richard Sherman) and the Skittles-loving, media-hating running back (Marshawn Lynch). Then you throw in the combeback wide receiver who was injured for much of the season but came back for the Super Bowl and ran 87 yards at a kickoff for a touch down (Percy Harvin). And then you got the college football coach who many thought wouldn't amount to anything in the NFL (Pete Carroll).

    Many that just made me want to watch that Super Bowl game again...Oh wait! So yeah, some sports just have the ability to bring people together IN SPITE of a lack of technical knowledge. Figure skating isn't at that point and it's unclear whether it will ever get there. We got a taste of it when J. Brown had his viral Riverdance, but as I said earlier I'm not sure that will be sustainable in the long-term.

    So I agree that figure skating might have to ride with the changing culture of the U.S. and again is better served to accommodate its niche customer base during the non-Olympic years.
    Yes, embrace its niche-ness. (And get rid of the dinosaurs)

  12. #102
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    When I say, I think Jason & Yulia could boost the sport, I'm talking about maybe drawing in a few casual fans, who might decide to follow the sport. I don't foresee anything boosting the sport, in the US at least, to nancy/tonya levels, though honestly, I never have understood why that event touched off several years of increased popularity to begin with.

    However, I think if the US were to produce another Kwan or Dorothy Hamel or another Katerina Witt type were to emerge internationally, we might at least get back to where people at least cared once every four years. Figure skating is definitely a niche sport and outside of that post scandal era, pretty much always has been in the US.

  13. #103
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    Julia

  14. #104
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    A 15 year old will not boost the sport. Get real people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightSkater View Post
    Is this another thread to support Gracie Gold ?.
    Quote Originally Posted by sky_fly20 View Post
    while I agree Meryl is distinct, her looks is almost animated, she look very disney character like in her features
    no way is Wagner distinct, she looks like your typical fake blonde dyed girl and generic look
    Gracie has distinct facial features and her blond ehair very much suites
    imo, she would also be noticed very well as a hollywood actress
    Do you think that Gracie is a natural blonde.....hello.....anyone can be a blonde. Take notice that she had her hair dyed lighter for the Olympics....Hollywood actresses with dark hair Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock that's the one that are noticed like Katlyn Osmond.....natural beauty on ice......not a fake blonde. lOL. Couldn't resist

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