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Gender Portrayals in Sports-Product Point-Of-Purchase Advertising

Jacquelyn Cuneen and Cathryn L. Claussen

Research addressing women’s portrayals in sport-products advertising has focused on typical mass media, largely ignoring point-of-purchase advertising. Yet, point-of-purchase ads have the potential to be more powerfully reinforced which adds urgency to the need to examine such messages. The purpose of this study was to describe gender characteristics in, and consumers’ reactions to, sports product point-of-purchase ads (f=161) at 24 stores in nine geographic regions and to assess consumers’ (N=351) feelings of involvement in the ads. Based upon the results both female and male consumers perceived the ads with various levels of relevance and meaning and each gender preferred ads that related directly to themselves and their needs. Such results have direct implications for manufacturers/marketers of sports-related products because (a) women shopped for, and purchased, sports-related products more frequently than men, and (b) consumers noticed and were able to identify/recall activities featured in sports-related advertising. Therefore, manufacturers’ wishing to amass and maintain the women’s market need to target women directly and feature women performing meaningful activities in their advertising.