The Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Five Points of Celebrity: “Driving” the Organization “Fore-Ward” or a Snap-Hook Into the Next Fairway?

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 University of Minnesota, USA
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In 2002, Ty Votaw, then commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), introduced a marketing plan called the Five Points of Celebrity, which included performance, approachability, passion and joy, appearance, and relevance. Votaw endorsed the Five Points of Celebrity as a way for women golfers to succeed in a competitive sports and entertainment marketplace. Rhetorical criticism of the Five Points of Celebrity using the framework of gender as performance reveals the underlying homophobic notions of the plan. First, Votaw presents the plan as a way to cater to what fans in a sports and entertainment marketplace desire. Second, the plan supports athletes’ displaying femininity to compensate for displaying traditionally masculine characteristics while participating in sport. Third, presentation of femininity emerges as a concomitant presentation of heterosexuality to subvert the “image problem” of LPGA of athletes being perceived as lesbians.

The author is with the Dept. of Communication Studies, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

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