Following the 1972 passage of Title IX of the Educational Amendments, women’s sport has evolved to appoint that the need to study specific aspects of this evolution has become apparent. The legislation requiring federally funded institutions to make efforts to develop programs with equitable opportunities for both genders has resulted in sport participation opportunities for women and girls not previously available. Consequently, interscholastic sports for girls were funded and college athletic scholarships for women based upon ability became reality. In addition to changes in school settings, interest in women’s sport at the Olympic and professional levels has grown. The opportunities to televise sports with female athletes increased as the number of female participants grew.
The concomitant increase in television and print media coverage has provided a vehicle for corporate promotion through women’s sport. With this evolution of women’s sport, corporate sponsors began to establish unique approaches to marketing and promotion for both their corporations and women’s sport organizations’ he increased coverage of women in sport brought greater visibility. Television and print media provided for the development of role models such as Billie Jean King and Chris Evert.
Unfortunately, as late as the 1980s”messages of trivialization, marginalization, and denial of power were recurrent themes in textual analyses of scripts from both magazines and television, indicating that the media productions of women’s sport tended to ignore women’s athletic ability and success”. In the 1990s media personnel have increasingly been made aware of coverage differences between men’s and women’s sport. Consequently, networks have undertaken sensitization efforts to ensure a more equitable presentation of men’s and women’s sport.
An example was the hiring of specialists in 1988 to monitor the manner in which women athletes were presented in Olympic coverage. As we progress in this decade, it may be anticipated that some of the previously identified differences will disappear since telecasts are more closely monitored. For young women with a passion for sport and competition, the improving coverage of women’s sport has provided a vehicle for awareness of the evolution in progress. Women with a desire to remain involved in sport as a career have more options today than ever before.