And Almost No One Got A 508

Monday 02nd, March 2015 / 13:49 Written by
And Almost No One Got A 508

Wow. That was a heck of a day.

We took The Other Half live at 12:00 PM Eastern yesterday, March 1st, and started announcing our launch on social media. Within just a couple hours we had much more attention than I think we (I) had expected. It’s one thing to be hopeful for public attention to a project you’ve sunk so much time and love into, and another thing entirely to be emotionally preparing for the likelihood of a glacially slow start. But when Chris Kluwe retweets the link to your site…well. Our webhost kept us up! And that was a miracle.

I perhaps underestimated the potential for interest in our work. I’m okay with that, though. It was a pleasant surprise. And I wonder how much it speaks to the unconscious conditioning we carry with us that I genuinely expected that no one would really care. I mean, women sports fans, you know? Who cares? Well. We do, obviously. And apparently some other people do too. :)

One of the things that came up during the day is the accuracy of: “half of all sports fans are women.” And I tweeted about it a little bit, but I want to address it here as well.

No. As far as the (inconsistent) estimates from the organizations that collect that data shows, women are 35% (NFL, MLS) – 45% (NHL, NASCAR) of fans in the most popular American sports (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, NASCAR). And that is not technically half. It’s a little under half at the high end. HOWEVER, the US is not the center of the universe and those are not the only sports in the country, much less in the world. And once we add in all those other fan bases, that number comes up. Tennis, figure skating, and gymnastics all boast a significantly higher percentage of female fans than male (75-85%), for example. When you average out all sports in all places? Yes, I think it’s a valid statement when we say we’re half of the fans – and this is not even taking into account the number of women who, though they participated in sports throughout their childhood and are active adults, would not describe themselves as sports fans. What that says about attitudes towards sports fans, particularly within the US, is something TOH is determined to address.

But I’m still wondering why – if we’re talking about the specific sports where we are 35-45% of the fans – that seems to mean we don’t deserve much regard from marketing and media. I mean, could we have 35% of the media and marketing, at least? That would be awesome.

Instead: “Women are half of all sports fans.”

“No you’re not.”

Okay, I’m sorry, in the NFL we are only 35% of the fan base. So…what? I’m pretty sure if the league took a 35% income hit because we all stopped watching, and buying, they would notice.

Hey look, #TME is rambling again! (I’m told you get used to it eventually.)

The point is, we’re not saying we’re 50% of NFL fans, we’re saying we’re half of the fans in the world.

So hey! Yeah! We had some engagement in the comments from people that weren’t just our friends and family, and that was pretty great. And we had some interactions on twitter – which has turned out to be our most effective exposure point so far – and that was pretty great.

(And if you were watching the twitter yesterday, everything that came across the feed was from me, just FYI.)

It’s going to be a bit of a steep learning curve, I think, as we adjust to interacting with people completely outside our personal circles. Especially for me. If you’ve read my first letter to the site you know that Voice is an important part of how we’re built – being comfortable being who we are. And I have a very strong personal voice that I’m going to have to make sure I adjust as necessary when moving from personal interactions to official interactions. It’s weird being one of the ones in charge, yo.

Check it out, we survived our first day. Hooray!

There are still technical site glitches (not being able to leave comments most of yesterday and no one noticed? What? TME ticked the wrong ticky box, sorry guys,) and we’ll be plugging away at those this week, so let us know if something is broken. (All of the mail is broken. That’s a…thing, that I need to address.)

Catch us on twitter and laugh with us on tumblr and, hey, keep checking back. We’re going to put up something new every day (and not just rambles from me) and we hope you’ll find something in your league.

We’re happy to have you with us. :)

Sasha – #TME

Sasha Davis
Managing Editor
Sasha is co-owner and Managing Editor of The Other Half. A runner and an avid hockey fan, after spending years in graphic design and accounting she turned her sights to her first true love and has spent the last year honing her editing skills on tech articles and short fiction. Sports writing is a whole new ballgame.

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