Earlier this week, on the NPF Akron Racers Facebook page and announcement was made about three massive sporting companies, Nike, Under Armour and New Balance, that essentially is a huge slap in the face to every young girl playing sports, and every parent with daughters who play softball.
“Three of the most recognizable sports brands in the world, Nike, Under Armour, and New Balance, have said Women’s Professional Softball is “not in the budget.” $10,000 is all it takes to be a baseline official sponsor in the National Pro Fastpitch League. With Nike’s 2016 Fiscal Revenue of $32.4 billion, Under Armour’s at $4.83 billion, and New Balance at $3.7 billion, saying $10K is “not in the budget” is a slap in the face to women’s professional sports and, quite frankly, pathetic.”
The article which was published on the Akron Racers website, has now been cached although we have yet to find out whether it is because these companies have changed their minds, or because these companies – Nike in particular, doesn’t want the bad press or to be seen as hypocritical in light of their recent million dollar ad campaigns that are littered with politically correct gender equality statements in efforts to make people like us, people with daughters, want to invest our money in their products.
Gender inequality in sports is nothing new. Chances are it won’t change anytime soon. There are no apple to apple comparisons when it comes to the future prospects of a softball player versus that of a male athlete.
However, we honestly feel that these companies, Nike especially with their “Equality has no boundaries”, “Opportunity should not discriminate”, and “The ball bounces the same for everyone” publicity need to get a freaking grip.
It is insane that companies of this magnitude would spit in the face of the NPF, deny a mere $10,000 sponsorship ( sheer pocket change to them), considering just how many of us – people like you and me – are purchasing their products.
And if gender equality and women empowerment are really at the top of their annual goals then they need to put their money where their morals are, and support the professional female athletes in the same way that they do male athletes. Of course, we are talking about big corporate America, which perhaps has no morals.
Its maddening really. And embarrassing, and humiliating. On one hand we see the commercials and the media that are all about empowering females and promoting equality – yet in the board room decisions are being made that denounce those very objectives.
And we just thought we should share. We decided to Just Do It!
You can read the mysteriously now cached article here (but hurry before that is taken down as well)