While the Fédération Française d’Equitation (French Equestrian Federation) boasts 78% of women amongst its 600,000 members, other sports such as classic dance can boast the same. But horse riding is one of the only sports considered as “mixed” where there is a majority of women taking part and where men and women compete on an equal footing.
Therefore, women largely represent the majority in riding schools, even though there are fewer women than men who take it up professionally. How can this keen interest be explained?
A passion born during childhood…
Although women make up the majority in all age ranges (the FFE is made up of 40% under-12s, 10% 12-18s and 50% adults), the figure is skewed by the proportion of young girls – of whom there are many who want to be involved in a sport where they are in contact with an animal, particularly when their parents refuse to adopt a pet. Horses are much appreciated animals at this age – as revealed by the multiplication of horse-related video games or books aimed at pre-teens: the game Alexandra Ledermann, magazines Cheval Girl and Cheval Star , Barbie loves horse riding, TV series Grand Galop, etc. Boys on the other hand, as Le Parisien points out, are less targeted by toy manufacturers and therefore less attracted to this sport which has no well-known stars to chat about in the playground, in contrast to French rugby or football players.
Roxy, the sportswear line for women, introduced by the Quiksilver brand, has always been a pioneer in women’s sports by designing clothing that’s both practical and feminine. But Roxy is also intent on promoting female sport by organising events. The latest one? An international surf contest… for women only.
From the 11th to the 17th of July 2011, the Roxy Pro surf contest took place in Biarritz, in partnership with Orange.
Gathering together the best female surfers on the planet, including reigning world champion Stephanie Gilmore, the event created a sensation on surfing websites… all the more so as the contest was broadcast live on the brand’s website. Novices were also catered for, as Roxy organised introductory surf lessons and sports demonstrations alongside the main contest. A nice way of showing that board sports aren’t reserved for men…
More and more women are starting to jog to keep in shape and to measure their fitness levels. According to a recent study by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, there are 3 million French women who are fans of running regularly. But what is it that motivates them to run?
Thirty years ago running was a male sport which appealed to very few women. Today, the taboo is lifted: An equality exists among joggers and there are even specific races reserved for women, like La Parisienne, created 15 years ago to meet the enthusiasm of women for jogging. Since then, the principle has been continued in most major French cities. They have friendly atmospheres, a good spirit and, despite wanting to finish in the best position, participants do not forget to smile to their well wishers.
Yoga, an ancient technique from India, has experienced a rapid breakthrough in the West since the 1960s, to such an extent that an estimated 10% of Americans (source: Gralon) and 3 million French people (source: Esprit Yoga) practise it at least occasionally, and amongst them a large majority are women…
The main advantage of yoga is that appeals to all profiles: it requires no particular muscular ability to get started, and it can be practised by children as well as elderly people. While women aged 25 to 55 make up the majority of participants in yoga classes in France, the number of lessons aimed at specific groups is rocketing: classes for pregnant women, yoga seminars for businesspeople, training for primary school teachers who want to initiate their pupils…
Women are into sport (see article here) and Puma is well aware of it. That is why the giant German sportswear brand decided, in November 2010, to launch a new range of shoes for women, BodyTrain, that combine elegance with muscle training.
« Walk sexy. Walk light. Walk tight. » This is Puma’s slogan for its new exclusively female line BodyTrain, which look good and are slimming at the same time.
The cliché of the woman who moans because her husband insists on watching the match is over. Studies reveal so: in 2000, 79% of women confirmed that they regularly do some form of exercise, as opposed to 88% of men. But while women are sportier than ever, they’re not into the same sports as men…
Women’s recent interest in sport can be explained in part by slimness becoming a sign of ultimate beauty. Our society values slender and athletic female bodies, and sport is one of the most effective ways to achieve this. According to a CSA study from June 2003, while two-thirds of French women have a normal body weight in relation to their body mass index, only 14% are satisfied with their figure! More and more women have therefore taken up jogging, much to the satisfaction of their partners, who can now be accompanied while exercising!
How do you make a deep and lasting relationship with your clients when your company is a gym? This is the question that arose the International CEO of Curves, Mike Raymond. His response: launch a women’s magazine distributed exclusively in the clubs of the brand. A successful initiative indeed!
Clients only go to his fitness club 2-3 times a week – for the most serious of them. This short amount of time they spend on the premises makes it difficult to establish lasting relationships, which incites them to be faithful to this gym in particular.
So it was with the aim of retaining its customers that Mike Raymond launched Diane, a women’s magazine purchased by different franchises of the brand and distributed free of charge to clients. The magazine talks about sports of course, but also dieting or shopping – in short, a variety of topics around the theme of well-being. The Curves brand without being omnipresent, is frequently cited, for example, all customers who visit more than 500 times are entitled to a mini-portrait in the magazine, thereby accessing national recognition – a celebrity for a day that encourages attendance.
The Women were immediately seduced by the idea, and the quality of the content of Diane. So much so that group session attendance at Curves groups increases significantly each time the new magazine is released!
In 5 years, enrolment and retention has increased significantly, but that’s not all: « The magazine was also established to create emotional connections between Curves and the client, not just make them come to exercise regularly to help fight cellulite! « Said Mike Raymond. And the results are unexpected: the magazine has attracted a host of new clients attracted by … the magazine, which had been lent to them by one of their friends!
Callaway is the leading American brand when it comes to golf, and the CEO has some ideas for how to expand it even more.
Previously President of Revlon, George Fellows has begun creating, since his arrival in 2005, a new style of golf clubs adapted to women’s physique. The “Callaway’s Gems” product line’s marketing is spearheaded by a woman, which helps target communication.
Fellows’ gamble is paying off: in 2008, the firm enjoyed their second highest sales growth ever.
Nestlé provides an iPhone application in addition to the original website that coaches and helps its users keep track of their weight management objectives all year long. Thanks to « Fitness Et Moi » (Fitness Diary), the iPhone app enables its users to follow their programme anywhere.
Developed by the Phonevalley agency, the application includes a personalised programme adapted for everyone; a pedometer to measure the length and speed of a run in real-time, as well as counting the number of steps the runner makes; a dashboard of different daily meals and corresponding calorie content, including a database with the calories of 1,300 types of food; a chart showing the evolution of weight, calories and pedometer functions; as well as a physical exercise section that provides tips on how to work your muscles at any time of the day.
The Phonevalley and ZenithOptimedia agencies reinforced the operation with a mobile media plan (advertising banners and editorial content) for Internet applications and French websites appreciated by 25-49 year old women: Aufeminin, Elle, TF1 Player, Messenger, etc.
The application has been available on iTunes since February 2010. It’s free and well-rated by users (7,400 evaluations). It only took a few days for it to reach the top 15 of the free apps on the AppStore.
Michael Moore, in charge of Nestlé’s digital marketing, stresses the need to enter the intimate universe of mobile phones in order to get closer to consumers: « Downloading an app is something very personal: it reflects your lifestyle. It is a very powerful tool ».
« The world could use a good kick in the pants : Agree/Disagree. » This is the introductory message written on the Girl Effect website, created by the Nike Foundation and Wieden + Kennedy agency. Whether the user clicks on agree or disagree, the same video appears.
This animated short film tells us that there are 50 million 12-year-old girls in the world who live in poverty, are married, have children, don’t go to school and are also at risk of AIDS. It also explains that positive change can occur: they can still attend school until they are 18, see a doctor regularly, create companies and develop the economy of their village and of their country. That is what the Girl Effect is about. The idea is to make us understand that these girls represent the future of our world and that by helping them our world will get better.
Once you have viewed the video, you can choose to make a donation, share the video or learn more about the programme. Companies and the media can participate. Girl Effect also has its own Youtube, Facebook and Twitter pages. Neither Nike nor sports-related themes are shown in the videos or on the online pages.