Marketing Bodybuilding Competition to Females

By Ricker, Kat | International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship, January 2006 | Go to article overview

Marketing Bodybuilding Competition to Females


Ricker, Kat, International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship


Abstract

When designing a marketing strategy to recruit females to participate in bodybuilding competitions, marketers should be aware not only of the established motivators inherent in females considering structured recreational activities, but also of the unique motivators for female potential recruits. Many traditional tactics used in bodybuilding marketing in the past have missed the mark. Chief motivators are fun, improved health and then, in descending order of importance, enhanced appearance, managing bodyweight, socialising and skill.

Keywords

chief motivators

health benefit

mentor arrangement

socialisation

femininity

facilities

Executive summary

Little research has been conducted into the motivating of females to compete in sport, and even less in the sport of bodybuilding. Sponsors targeting female consumers at bodybuilding competition events should expect that event marketers are marketing specifically to attract females to compete, because with the increase in females who compete, there is an increase in females with similar profiles who attend and are therefore exposed to sponsor marketing.

When designing a marketing strategy to recruit females who have not previously competed in the sport of bodybuilding, at least at amateur level, marketers should be aware not only of the established motivators inherent in females considering structured recreational activities, but also of the unique motivators for females who are potential recruits. Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, marketers should be aware that many traditional tactics and focuses used in bodybuilding marketing are missing the mark for the female audience.

Drawing from surveys, interviews and published research, this paper suggests a new perspective for bodybuilding marketers targeting a female audience, focusing on motivators for potential candidates. Chief motivators for these females are fun, improved health and then, in descending order of importance, enhanced appearance, managing bodyweight, socialising and skill.

Introduction

Sponsors targeting female consumers at bodybuilding competition events should expect that event marketers are marketing specifically to attract females to compete, because with the increase in females who compete, there is an increase in females with similar profiles who attend and are therefore exposed to sponsor marketing. Marketers should be aware not only of the established motivators inherent in females considering structured recreational activities, but also of the unique motivators for females who are likely potential recruits. Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, marketers should be aware that many traditional tactics and focuses used in bodybuilding marketing are missing the mark for the female audience.

Little research has been conducted regarding motivating females to compete in sport, and even less in motivating females to compete in the sport of bodybuilding. Special consideration should be given when designing a marketing strategy to recruit females who have not competed in this sport in the past to compete at least at amateur level.

Drawing from surveys, interviews and published research, this paper suggests a new perspective for bodybuilding marketers targeting a female audience, focusing on motivators for potential candidates. The findings of this paper should be of interest to any potential sponsor and event marketer.

Matt Shepley, founder of the Washington D.C. based Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders, estimates that for every female competitor, there are five to ten people who attend the event to provide support. Since sponsors and vendors of bodybuilding events typically include products and services which have a substantial female consumer base--fitness-related apparel, tanning products and services, sports supplements, specialist foods and even jewellery--increasing the volume of female competitors can also increase the volume of the target consumers. …

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