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HomeThink TankEliminating Gender Bias in Sports Advertising: Star Sports and DDB Group's Campaigns

Eliminating Gender Bias in Sports Advertising: Star Sports and DDB Group’s Campaigns

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The world of sports is a stage for many powerful stories of courage and determination, a place where the human spirit is tested to its limits. Unfortunately, for far too long, women have been denied the same opportunities as men in sports and have had to fight for recognition, respect, and equal pay. This discrimination shows itself in various ways, from unequal exposure to media to unequal access to resources and funding.

For example, Mithali Raj, the Indian cricket captain, reportedly earns Rs. 50 lakhs per year, which is far less than Virat Kohli’s annual Rs. 7 crore—demonstrating the gender disparity in earnings.

As a result, gender bias in sports advertising has been a persistent problem.

Recently, however, two ad campaigns have emerged that are working hard to tackle this issue head-on. Star Sports, a sports broadcasting network, is attempting to make the Indian cricket team gender-neutral while DDB Group Aotearoa and FINCH, a film production company, have launched a global campaign to highlight and correct the inconsistency of searchable facts that disadvantages sportswomen.

Star Sports – ICC Women’s T20 World Cup

The Star Sports campaign is timed perfectly with the start of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and the upcoming season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). In the 30-second ad, a woman is seen trying to buy an Indian cricket team jersey with the name Sharma on the back. The store owner assumes she wants the men’s ODI team captain Rohit Sharma’s jersey. However, she is actually looking for the jersey with Deepti Sharma’s name on it. 

This engaging campaign is created and conceptualized by the in-house team of Disney Star.

The ad ends with a powerful message: “Watch His Her-story in the making”

The BCCI, India’s cricket governing body, announced the owners of the WPL’s five teams a few days after the ad was released. The auction for the teams fetched a combined Rs 4,699.99 crore, a testament to the increasing recognition and support for women’s cricket in the country.

Click here to know more.

Overall, the Star Sports campaign is a powerful example of how sports advertising can be used to promote gender equality and respect for sportswomen. By making the Indian cricket team gender-neutral, Star Sports is ensuring that sportswomen receive the recognition and respect they deserve. The ad’s powerful message and the subsequent auction of the Women’s Premier League teams are clear indications of the growing recognition and support for women’s cricket in the country. It is hoped that this campaign will inspire other companies and organizations to follow suit and take tangible action to eliminate gender bias in sports advertising.

DDB Group Aotearoa- Correct The Internet

The other campaign, called Correct The Internet, was launched by DDB Group Aotearoa and FINCH with the aim of making sportswomen more visible online. The team first discovered the problem when researching facts about the world’s top footballers. They noticed that women held many of football’s records, but when asking simple, ungendered questions to find these facts, the internet was incorrectly putting men ahead of the statistically superior women in its search results.

The campaign is the collective work of an international group of like-minded people who saw the need to get behind the cause but the campaign was led by Rebecca Sowden, a founding partner of “Correct The Internet”, and Finch – a film production company.

To combat this, DDB Group Aotearoa and FINCH have built a tool that makes it easier to report these inaccuracies and give feedback to search engines. The campaign is designed to get a global community of people willing to speak up and take tangible action to reverse the gender biases ruling our search engines. If the feedback is successful, it will result in a correction of the search results over time.

The ‘Correct The Internet’ campaign is eliminating gender bias in sports advertising by improving the visibility of sportswomen online.

Overall, both these campaigns are ensuring that sportswomen receive the recognition and respect they deserve. It is hoped that more companies and organizations will follow suit in the future and that gender bias in sports advertising will eventually become a thing of the past.

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