27 Apr Sedona Prince: The Impact that she had on amplifying Women’s March Madness
Women’s NCAA sports don’t get as much attention as Men’s NCAA sports.
This fact has been a huge topic of conversation in athletics, and a major point of contention at the collegiate and professional level. Name the sport, and chances are the women’s league is underrepresented in the exposure that they get. Every so often, however, there is a glimmer of hope that women’s athletes get from hearing others speak up. Recently, we saw that hope in NCAA Women’s Basketball, with Oregon junior Sedona Prince.
At the beginning of the tournament, an Instagram photo came to light showing the discrepancy that the NCAA fueled through the differences in the weight room selection at their respective March Madness tournaments. The men’s basketball teams got a state of the art weight room, decked with a wide variety of dumbbells, benches and what looked like one weight rack per teammate. The women’s basketball teams were given yoga mats and a single set of dumbbells. We are way past the stigma that women don’t lift weights in sports, and was truly unacceptable.
This post by Ali Kershner went viral, accumulating around 100,000 likes and multiple reposts, most notably being reposted on Twitter and TikTok by none other than Sedona Prince. She then posted a TikTok responding to the allegations that money was not the issue, rather space for a weight room was not available. Just a simple pan of the camera proved that not to be true. She ended the video with “If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you are a part of it.” This video has accumulated over 11.5 million views.
Here is the TikTok for reference.
Prince started out this tournament with a following, and was able to speak out on indifferences that women experience all the time in the NCAA, averaging well over a million views per tik tok during her time in the bubble. The next couple of days following she was asked to do interviews and speak on behalf of her team and engagement on her social media skyrocketed. And the good news for Oregon is that she still has several years of eligibility and her name and likeness tied to the NCAA until she either graduates or qualifies for the WNBA at the age of 22.
This is a textbook case of virality, you take a topic and with a platform, you are able to spread information like wildfire. Now what did that mean for the women’s tournament? An increase in viewership. The championship game had 4 million viewers according to CNBC, the most since 2014. If you’re Oregon, this is fantastic news, your program is now on the board and rivaling the top tier basketball program. If you’re the NCAA, this is where you capitalize on this success and use it as a springboard to promote women’s athletics.
This is a minor step toward the ultimate goal, having equal representation for men and women in athletics. As a former women’s NCAA athlete, I would love nothing more than to see this happen soon. Keep up the engagement and don’t stop the fight, we’re only just getting started.
How do you think this viral post affected the women’s NCAA tournament? Let us know by telling us what you think by following us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, where you can see us keep up to date on all digital marketing news, and by following us on Instagram for updates on all things ACCL and current projects we are working on!
Blog By: Kate Sullivan (Intern 2021)