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  • Craig

    Excellent article! Explains a lot, and has given me a much clearer picture of the complexity involved in trying to change the profile of women’s racing. Thanks! :-)

  • DaveRides

    The answer to the big question is another question – when will women’s cycling get deep enough to properly break into countries like Australia where cycling is a fourth-tier sport?

    It’s not the “women’s” bit that is the problem but the “cycling” part. There’s plenty of support for women’s sport in Australia when it’s at a high level, see the following developments from the last couple of years:
    – WBBL01 and WBBL02 both smashed the A-League soccer (yes, the A-League, not the W-League) in the TV ratings.
    – Commonwealth Bank sponsoring the Southern Stars (women’s national cricket team) for the full year while they only sponsor the men’s team in home Test matches, and having star women’s players like Ellyse Perry appearing in their TV commercials alongside men’s players.
    – The WBBL was built on the same ‘sustainable development’ theory that Conte is working on, having started after a few years of women’s state teams playing double-header T20 matches with the BBL and a big marketing campaign for the women’s national side.
    – The Friday night AFLW match last week had more spectators than the Herald Sun Tour stage on the same day.
    – Super Netball is just about to start.
    – All three of the above leagues have no shortage of sponsorship interest, and star international players in the cricket and netball.

    One thing I would like to see someone ask of Cycling Australia is why they bought the naming rights for a Herald Sun Tour stage and used their “She Rides” program branding for it when the HST is the only one of the three international races in Australia to NOT have a women’s event included on the program? Wouldn’t that have been better spent on sponsoring a stage of the Santos Women’s Tour which only had naming rights for one of the four stages?

    On a more immediate note, the TDU needs to secure a major sponsor (whether Santos renews or someone else comes in) before they can start thinking about expanding any aspect of the event. The state government accepts that the TDU will always run a loss (sorry, “investment”) but they can’t let the loss get up to unreasonable amounts.

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