Thursday, September 04, 2008

Marketing Sports

In my earlier post, I wrote that badminton matches need more commercial breaks in order to attract sponsorship. International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has a more radical idea to promote the sport. The secret:

Sex sells!

ITTF vice-president Claude Bergerewas reporting as saying, “We are trying to push the (female) players to use skirts and also nicer shirts, not the shirts that are made for men, but ones with more curves.”

It may seem derogatory to ask women table tennis players to wear skirts and sexy shirts. But think again, female track-and-field athletes are already wearing bikini-typed suits. Of course, there should be no coercion. As a libertarian, I find it acceptable that table tennis players wear sexy attires. On the other hand, if some women from conservative countries wish to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, it is also perfectly fine. No veils, though.

I expect many feminists to rebuff ITTF’s proposal, calling it a discrimination against the fairer sex. But wait a minute. Before you object, ask yourself this question, “Why is David Beckham so popular among ladies?”

Shown below are Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva in bikini-typed tracksuit and some stylish table tennis attires.

Related post:

Badminton - why no commercial breaks?


  1. The last pic looks nice. Why I no see this in the recent Olympics? :)

  2. Erm I thought the attire looks like this for a reason? As in reduce resistance or stuff like that... physics bla bla...

    Pardon me of my ignorance. =/

  3. neo
    You should see this in the next Olympics.

    AFAIK, the Speedo swimsuit reduces water resistance. Not sure about track-and-field attires. The ping pong attires you see here is mainly for style.

  4. One more good reason to watch table tennis!

    But what about male players?

  5. shingo
    Haha... but I think it will take a while before female players wear this kind of sexy outfits.

    As for male players - I think they need to imitate David Beckham.

  6. You know what they should do.

    Just ask the women to not wear any lingerie underneath their clothes. Issue settled. LOL!

  7. Who wants commercial breaks? The less the better!

  8. danny
    In that case, our pretentious politicians will make noise la...

    Sponsors want commercial breaks, so I think there should be a balance.

  9. I think the female form is really beautiful. It's the woman who makes the clothes. Not the other way around. Besides, the stylishness of the clothes overpowers the "sexiness".

  10. 宝茹
    I have to agree with you that female form is beautiful. But then I am male, and straight...

  11. Interesting question this one:“Why is David Beckham so popular among ladies?”

    Certainly not for the shorts and jerseys that he dons in a game!! So why should table-tennis female players wear something skimpy so that they can be popular? Jeezzzzz!! So sexist!!

    Sportswear should improve the game first and foremost and should be relevant to the game. However, maybe table tennis players should be wearing sleeveless shirts because I see them always adjusting their shirt-sleeves.

  12. happysurfer
    Well David Beckham doesn't wear sexy shorts and jersey, but surely his sex appeal is there.

    BTW, female players of beach volleyball actually prefer bikini because it doesn't trap sand so easily.

  13. KS, exactly!! DB doesn't need to wear sexily to attract female attention. So why should table tennis players dress sexily to attract fans? See what I mean?

    Like I said earlier, Sportswear should improve the game first and foremost and should be relevant to the game. Table tennis players should wear what they feel comfortable in or what can help them play better not because the TT governing body wants them to dress to attract crowds. Of course, they're thinking in terms of selling more tickets and other merchandise which makes business sense.

  14. happysurfer
    Looks like you are very unhappy with ITTF. You should complain to it...