Thursday, March 12, 2009

ACC WON'T ACKNOWLEDGE LESBIAN FANS

We know what you're thinking - that there's a joke in here somewhere.

Actually, there isn't. This is a post based on a real writer for a real newspaper in a real city. It comes our way via Sports By Brooks:
Robert Bell of the GREENSBORO NEWS & RECORD has a report (recently)on the elephant in the room when it comes to the marketing of the ACC women's basketball tournament.

While the WNBA has enthusiastically embraced its lesbian fans, Bell reports that the ACC (and all other major conferences) has completely ignored its lesbian fan base in women's basketball marketing efforts. This despite the fact that lesbians could very well represent the majority of fans at the league's basketball games.

How do I know? I announced games for Ohio State, Georgia and South Carolina in the '90s. For those programs, the vast majority of die-hard fans were lesbians, the elderly, and children under the age of 10.

Reporter Bell notes that the numerous businesses throughout Greensboro, which is hosting the women's ACC basketball tournament this year, are specifically catering to lesbian clientele. This, despite the fact that ACC officials steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the sexual orientation of the most rabid of its fans.
When a News & Record reporter requested an interview to discuss the league's support among lesbians with ACC associate commissioner Nora Lynn Finch, who oversees the women's tournament, conference officials asked that the questions be e-mailed in advance.

Finch responded to general questions about the tournament's fan base, but declined to answer specific questions about the tournament's lesbian fan base.

"Our marketing efforts have been consistent for many years and are really driven toward all fans that want to watch what we think is the best college basketball in the country," Finch wrote. "We continue to (target) youth groups, in order to cultivate the young fan."

Uh, Nora, you've been doing that for 20+ years and women's college hoops, besides a handful of programs, doesn't draw flies. And it never will under that plan. (Soccer called, it wants its 1981 marketing plan back.)

If schools would get real and acknowledge that the most affluent of their fan base is homosexual, I think we really could see some attendance gains in women's college basketball. It's no coincidence that WNBA teams, which welcomes lesbians with open arms, draws better than most big collegiate programs.

I also find it hypocritical that the representatives of institutions that claim to be a bastion of societal inclusion completely shut down homosexuals when it comes to sports.

Evidently, other conferences are equal offenders when it comes to the lesbian demographic and their sports teams.

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