Using the image of women to promote male sports has divided sports fans across the UK, with a new poll showing 48% are against the practice.
However the research, undertaken by SMI (Sports Marketing Intelligence), showed a distinct difference in opinion between genders.
While 56% of males had no objections to such promotions, only 29% of females were in support of a practice that has become a hot topic of debate.
The poll results come after the Professional Darts Corporation’s decision to scrap the use of walk-on girls for their events, which was closely followed by Formula 1’s axing of their iconic ‘grid girls’.
A further breakdown of SMI’s poll showed that while there was no major disparity between most age groups, over 65 year olds were significantly more supportive of the bans, with 68% of respondents of the belief that it should not be commonplace in sports.
Similar sentiment was shown by London-based sports fans of whom 63% were against using the image of women in promotions, compared to 49% from remaining areas across the UK.
With a number of advocacy bodies, including the Women’s Sport Trust, supporting such moves, it seems likely that more sports will follow suit given promotional girls are still widely used in the sports industry.
Poll undertaken amongst 562 active sports fans.
SMI are specialist market researchers for the sports industry. For more information about our polls, surveys, online communities and sponsorship solutions, visit the SMI services page or contact our dedicated team.