MEMOS Coffee Break April 2022, with MEMOS Professor Tracy Taylor

For our MEMOS Coffee Break in April, MEMOS Professor Tracy Taylor (a pillar of the MEMOS Masters Program) joined from Melbourne, AUS to speak to host Marco Mazzi about some of her studies in women’s sport and the trends we are seeing now.  

As Australia Sport starts to open back up, Professor Tracy Taylor updated us on the starting point. During the pandemic, many sports shut down or moved into a very protected bubble format. For example, teams from New Zealand temporarily moved to Australia for the season so they could train and complete within the bubble. Due to lack of resources, many women’s sports were paused.  

Over the last few years, her research has demonstrated an upwards trend in Women’s Sport. While many are still semi-professional, there have been some important changes – seemingly lead by sponsors asking for equity in sport.  

According to Professor Taylor, there are several factors at play:  

  • Questioning if the current model of sports actually works.  
  • Women – as athletes and as spectators, are a largely untapped market.  
  • Focus and moving towards more diversity and inclusion.  
  • What the sponsor wants: a reflection of their own values (such as gender equity) in the events they support.  
  • The benefits of genderwashing (similar to greenwashing).  
  • The simplicity of less controversial role models (many male sports have had negative player’s behavior reflect poorly).  

For Sports Professionals, these are important factors to keep in mind. Thank you Professor Tracy Taylor for your insight and time!