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Fox Sports Sets Pact With Advertisers to Support Better Depictions of Women

Fox Networks Group

Fox Sports is joining with a Madison Avenue advocacy organization to support better portrayals of women on TV.

Under an agreement struck with the Association of National Advertisers, an industry trade group, Fox Sports said it intends to “increase the accurate portrayal of women and girls in media” by 20% by 2020.  To do so, Fox Sports will celebrate female accomplishments and encourage conversations between adults and parents – especially dads and daughters –  about pursuing career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and medicine or STEM.

The efforts are part of an initiative known as “#SeeHer.” CBS in October  said it had devised a similar agreement, and that it intended to create opportunities on its TV network and digital properties to push back against “conscious and unconscious gender bias in advertising and media” and change  “how the media represents women and young girls.”

Fox Sports and the ANA will launch a  “Celebrate Her” promotional campaign featuring familiar sports moments reimagined to celebrate women in STEM. The promo spots will be featured in Fox Sports’ most high-profile programming, including NFL kickoffs and pre-games, college football bowl games, and college basketball tip-offs. Several of the ads will include appearances by Fox Sports analysts and reports.

“We are pleased to join forces with the ANA to encourage a different type of conversation to take place during our sports programs. Research shows that girls who are encouraged by male role models to pursue STEM are more likely to do so, and the Celebrate Her ads are an important way to galvanize those discussions,” said Sarah Tourville, senior vice president of brand activation, at Fox Sports. “Fox Sports is proud to be home to many of the biggest sports champions in the world, and we are equally proud to play a role in championing the future success of young women.”

“Sports entertainment has a significant cultural impact, and watching sports is a great family activity,” added Stephen Quinn, chair of ANA’s Alliance for Family Entertainment, which leads the initiative, and the former CMO of Walmart and PepsiCo. “Fox’s creative concept will showcase how girls can excel in a variety of careers, including STEM. This will provide inspirational teachable moments for families and get men engaged in championing #SeeHer for the women and girls in their lives. We are excited to partner with FOX bringing this initiative forward. #SeeHer is committed to improving the portrayal of women in the cultural pillars supported by advertisers for the common good. Adding sports is a milestone for the movement.”

The promotional spots will show a high school student choosing her science school of choice; draft day festivities for college seniors who are selected to pursue science careers; female scientists being awarded the “green lab” coat; and a ticker-tape parade to congratulate the winner of a middle school science fair.