FanPost

Why do guys watch sports?


There's a perennial question that surrounds the WNBA: How can the league get more male viewers?  Men make up the bulk of sports enthusiasts, of course, and the WNBA is a sports league.  It follows naturally that the W would want to win over some of those sports fans.

I think the best place to start would be examining why guys watch sports in the first place.

I can think of three main reasons guys watch sports.

 

A: The male bonding thing. The W might be able to get some of that action, but it's always going to be an uphill fight against more established sports.  When guys get together to watch women, it's generally not going involve the women participating in sports.

 

B: Living vicariously through the players. Guys wish they could do what Kobe Bryant does, or Peyton Manning, or Albert Pujols, or even Rafael Nadal. This is a tougher nut to crack, for several reasons.

1: Many guys believe they can do what WNBA players do. We've all seen the yahoos that say "I could take any of those girls".  They're wrong, of course, but the perception is difficult to beat.

2: Many guys think they could be pro athletes except for the wrong circumstances. "I could be Shaq if I was 7'2", "I could be in the NFL if I hadn't hurt my knee in middle school", "I could play in the majors, but I refuse to use HGH" and that kind of crap. Being guys, there's no way they could play in the WNBA so they dismiss it.

3: Many guys aren't secure enough in their gender identity to say or even consciously think "I wish I could be like Diana Taurasi".

4: There's a higher level to aspire to. Guys might like to be able to do what Lauren Jackson can do, but they'd prefer to be able to do what LeBron James can do.

5: Part of the envy of the players comes from their lifestyle.  Fame and fortune and the perquisites that come with them are a big part of why guys identify with players.  WNBA players make a decent living, but they're not living the life of ease and luxury that make guys want to be "Like Mike".

 

C: Love of the game. These guys are winnable too.  The "basketball is basketball" line is a winner with this crowd.

 

If the W can focus its marketing on what drives guys to watch sports, it will be more successful in getting more of those male eyes focused on its games and players.

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