Turns out women aren't just vying for resources, attention, and money on the field; the inequalities extend to business off the field, too. For female athletes, unlike the David Beckhams and Tom Bradys of the world, big and lucrative endorsements are still elusive — especially when it comes to fashion brands, WWD reports .
That's why WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Cappie Pondexter launched her own consulting firm, 4 Season Style management: to help other female athletes break into fashion marketing partnerships. But, she says, even while clients want to show a more feminine and fashionable side through endorsements, brands often don't bite. While Tom Brady earns about $10 million a year from deals with Movado, Stetson, and UGG boots, only a handful of highly recognizable — and highly attractive — female athletes score similar contracts, like Maria Sharapova, who endorses Tag Heuer and Cole Hann. Serena Williams, while Über-famous, lists Nike and Puma (both sports brands) as her two largest contracts.
Some brand experts reason that the imbalance is a result of a preexisting tilt in sports viewership in general. Men's sports receive 96 percent of TV airtime, says the USC center for feminist research, so of course companies would throw money behind male athletes to shill their merchandise. Others cite a fundamental difference in physical attractiveness. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a popular male athlete who doesn't also have physicality and sex appeal,” Kevin Adler, founder and president of Chicago-based agency Engage Marketing, told WWD.
That seems to be a very gentle way of saying that female athletes aren't exactly perceived as beautiful enough to carry a fashion endorsement; as another brand expert points out, 345-pound linebackers aren't getting asked to model suits either. So, at least when it comes to sports, it's all about equal-opportunity discrimination by looks.
Update Your Beauty & Wellness Routine
Most Viewed Stories
Melania Trump Is Reportedly ‘Miserable’ in Her Role As First Lady
When Good Christian Girls Need Planned Parenthood
Nighttime Voice-mails From the White House
My Daughter’s Suburban Childhood Looks Nothing Like My Urban One
Trump Somehow Found a Way to Insult Women at the Unveiling of an Airplane
Fixer Upper’s First Single Bachelor Is Causing Some Drama
Zoe Saldana Shares the First Photo of Her Newborn Baby
Chrissy Teigen on ‘Underrepresented’ Asian Models and Appropriation
Angelina Jolie Attended the Premiere of Her New Movie in Cambodia
Chelsea Clinton Reacts to Trump’s Fake Sweden Attack
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.