Forum home Road cycling forum Pro race

Will crowd funding fix the gender balance?

davidofdavidof Posts: 2,446
Well you know what they say about headlines with question marks in them.

But a gofundme campaign has raised over 5,000 euros to boost the prize money for the top five women at the Strade Bianchi race.

Velonews reports that in 2019, the prize money for Strade Bianche, which has WorldTour status for both the men’s and women’s editions, was €16,000 for the men and €2,256 for the women.

Is that all the prize money or first place? It is not much, even for the men.

https://www.velonews.com/news/crowdfunding-campaign-started-to-match-mens-prize-money-for-womens-strade-bianche/

https://www.gofundme.com/f/equal-prize-money-for-the-womens-peloton?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer

I'd be interesting to know if this money reaches the top riders and how.
«13

Posts

  • ProssPross Posts: 27,100
    Prize money has never really been a thing for riders to chase in pro racing though. I just did a quick check and the total prize pot for Paris Roubaix in 2019 was 91,000 euros (30,000 for the winner). That's around half what a tennis player gets for the first round at Wimbledon although obviously players in sports like tennis and golf don't get a salary.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 17,350
    There happens to be an interesting piece on Cyclingnews about criticism of Flanders-classics over the inequality in Prize money at last weekend's OHN races.

    https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/flanders-classics-hits-back-at-criticism-over-prize-money-inequality-at-omloop-het-nieuwsblad/

    However, in response, Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel had this to say:

    "This year alone around six figures were invested into moving the race up a category and into a first time tv production. If equal pay is all you are asking for you clearly have no idea about the challenges women’s cycling is still facing. Of course we will keep investing, we will try to stay the driver for change and we will keep pushing for equality in cycling in the near future."

    This was also interesting, although it obviously means little without overall viewing figures and ignores the fact that it followed, rather than preceded the men's race..

    Daam Van Reeth, professor Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, pointed out in a post on Twitter that the Dutch TV audience at NPO Start, a video on-demand service of the Dutch Public Broadcasting, for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women was almost double the audience of men's race. Those figures included approximately 330K and 21.5 per cent share for the women and 170K and 18.6 per cent share for the men.

    I for one didn't watch the women's race as I find the major events are totally dominated by the Dutch.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,911
    edited 3 March
    The women keep going on about equality, but I still haven't seen in what way they are - in any sport. Not in ability, sponsor revenue, ticket sales, viewing figures or media coverage. If they want more money at some point they are going to have bring something to the table. They can't expect the men to keep paying for them.

    That's what tennis did. They got their own tour, their own fans, their own sponsors and presented them to the Grand Slams.

    The prize money for OHN is small. But the Women want a Tour de France. It will most likely cost ASO quite a lot of money to put it on. In 2020 the prize pot was 2.29m Euros. The women will demand equal prize money. So do the ASO have to match that and find another 2.29m on top of their increased overheads. Or do the men have to give up 1.15m?


    Daam Van Reeth, professor Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, pointed out in a post on Twitter that the Dutch TV audience at NPO Start, a video on-demand service of the Dutch Public Broadcasting, for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite Women was almost double the audience of men's race. Those figures included approximately 330K and 21.5 per cent share for the women and 170K and 18.6 per cent share for the men.


    As for this, I saw someone point out that Dutch cycling fans tend to watch Sporza and they had post race chat rather than the women's race, hence the difference. Maybe Rick can confirm or deny.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,917
    Does "NPO start" mean the start of the programme? If so, of course they had higher figures. It was straight after the men's race so will have had people who just left it on. What were the figures for the end of the race or the average?
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,911
    gsk82 said:

    Does "NPO start" mean the start of the programme? If so, of course they had higher figures. It was straight after the men's race so will have had people who just left it on. What were the figures for the end of the race or the average?


    No, it looks like the national broadcaster's on demand service. Sort of like the BBC red button or iPlayer
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 17,350
    RichN95. said:

    gsk82 said:

    Does "NPO start" mean the start of the programme? If so, of course they had higher figures. It was straight after the men's race so will have had people who just left it on. What were the figures for the end of the race or the average?


    No, it looks like the national broadcaster's on demand service. Sort of like the BBC red button or iPlayer
    But as you say, the Dutch have access to Sporza and their coverage is in a different league to NOS.
    Hardly anybody would choose them over the Belgian coverage.
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • arnufarnuf Posts: 81
    RichN95. said:



    As for this, I saw someone point out that Dutch cycling fans tend to watch Sporza and they had post race chat rather than the women's race, hence the difference. Maybe Rick can confirm or deny.

    This is especially true for races like OHN. If Dutch fans care enough to watch it, they care enough to watch it on Sporza.

    I remember in the past Sporza used to have issues with broadcasting licenses when for certain races in absolute numbers it had more Dutch than Belgian viewers.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,730
    Pross said:

    Prize money has never really been a thing for riders to chase in pro racing though. I just did a quick check and the total prize pot for Paris Roubaix in 2019 was 91,000 euros (30,000 for the winner). That's around half what a tennis player gets for the first round at Wimbledon although obviously players in sports like tennis and golf don't get a salary.

    Especially not for the top men's teams - but many of the women's teams are not well funded so it could make a material difference for them. You could reduce the men's prize money and balance the winnings between men, without really affecting the top men's teams but it would be much more material for the women's teams.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,730
    RichN95. said:

    The women keep going on about equality, but I still haven't seen in what way they are - in any sport. Not in ability, sponsor revenue, ticket sales, viewing figures or media coverage. If they want more money at some point they are going to have bring something to the table. They can't expect the men to keep paying for them.

    I think there's a bit of chicken and egg going on here. If the races are hard to watch/follow, none of the rest of it will follow.

    I also think that having a more popular, better funded sport will lead to more competitive racing in the longer term (as noted elsewhere, it's kind of dominated by a small number of people at the moment).

    Both of those could apply to any sport in any gender, not just women's cycling.

    I also think your choice of words above isn't the greatest - it's not just women talking about equality.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,908 Lives Here
    arnuf said:

    RichN95. said:



    As for this, I saw someone point out that Dutch cycling fans tend to watch Sporza and they had post race chat rather than the women's race, hence the difference. Maybe Rick can confirm or deny.

    This is especially true for races like OHN. If Dutch fans care enough to watch it, they care enough to watch it on Sporza.

    I remember in the past Sporza used to have issues with broadcasting licenses when for certain races in absolute numbers it had more Dutch than Belgian viewers.
    Yup cycling fans watch sporza, casual fans watch NOS.
  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 17,350
    edited 4 March

    RichN95. said:

    The women keep going on about equality, but I still haven't seen in what way they are - in any sport. Not in ability, sponsor revenue, ticket sales, viewing figures or media coverage. If they want more money at some point they are going to have bring something to the table. They can't expect the men to keep paying for them.

    I think there's a bit of chicken and egg going on here. If the races are hard to watch/follow, none of the rest of it will follow.

    I also think that having a more popular, better funded sport will lead to more competitive racing in the longer term (as noted elsewhere, it's kind of dominated by a small number of people at the moment).

    Both of those could apply to any sport in any gender, not just women's cycling.

    I also think your choice of words above isn't the greatest - it's not just women talking about equality.
    But the races aren't hard to follow any more.
    The OHN organisers even went as far to push the men's race forward, ( and personally I didn't like the new time) to clear the prime tv slot for the women , who obviously without Covid restrictions, would then benefit from whatever portion of the crowd decided to stay on and watch.
    To their credit, the OHN speculatively invested a 6 figure sum to achieve this, yet
    I haven't seen any words gratitude expressed for what has been undertaken.
    Instead, apparently the issue remains a few grand in prize money, which is hardly looking at a bigger picture
    As Rich says, If they want more money at some point they are going to have bring something to the table, other than demands.






    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,730
    edited 4 March
    I just think this "them and us" mentality you seem to be pushing is completely wrong, FWIW.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,911
    edited 4 March

    I just think this "them and us" mentality you seem to be pushing is completely wrong, FWIW.


    It's not them v us, it's ideology v realism
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,446
    One of the problems is that women's cycling isn't competing with just men's cycling but every other sport under the sun so there is a big picture as was mentioned above.

  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 12,618
    I pay to play sport and am flattered if anyone chooses to watch. That drives much of my thinking about elite sport e.g. people at the Olympics who complain that they have trained four years for something are particularly annoying.

  • blazing_saddlesblazing_saddles Posts: 17,350

    I just think this "them and us" mentality you seem to be pushing is completely wrong, FWIW.

    No, it's just being realistic.

    I mean, in your other post you said this:

    I also think that having a more popular, better funded sport will lead to more competitive racing in the longer term (as noted elsewhere, it's kind of dominated by a small number of people at the moment).

    While I don't disagree with your stated outcome, it's easy to throw out an opinion like this, but quite clearly far harder to identify how the goal can be achieved.
    Especially when the sport in question has a notorious history of chronic under-funding.

    Everybody has opinions, innovative ideas are harder to come by.


    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.
  • joeyhalloranjoeyhalloran Posts: 602
    I know it's not cycling but it's still an interesting discussion for women's football. One of the reasons why it's not bigger, with more money, revenue and wages? It was tanked by the FA for being TOO popular and threatening the men's game, so they banned it, for 50 years.

    That said I don't think prize money is the answer, it's media coverage. I wound contribute to crowdfund for women's cycling. TBH, if it were up to me I would scrap prize money altogether.

    p.s. though it doesn't help that in OHN 3 of the women's teams were riding in mostly purple kits, it made it very hard to workout which team was which!
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,911

    I know it's not cycling but it's still an interesting discussion for women's football. One of the reasons why it's not bigger, with more money, revenue and wages? It was tanked by the FA for being TOO popular and threatening the men's game, so they banned it, for 50 years.

    But there's still a disparity in countries where it wasn't banned and sports were women weren't banned.

    Women's sport can be served better but the idea that it's equal and the constant comparison to the men isn't helping.

    Sport is a business and just a branch of the entertainment industry. It's all about bums on seats, eyes on TV and dollars in the coffers.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • joeyhalloranjoeyhalloran Posts: 602
    But that attitude without facing the historic downward pressure on women's sport is like this comic explaining privilege

    https://www.upworthy.com/a-short-comic-gives-the-simplest-most-perfect-explanation-of-privilege-ive-ever-seen
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,911

    But that attitude without facing the historic downward pressure on women's sport is like this comic explaining privilege

    https://www.upworthy.com/a-short-comic-gives-the-simplest-most-perfect-explanation-of-privilege-ive-ever-seen


    It's nothing to do with privilege, it's what people want to watch. And more people want to watch men's sport. Mostly because men are better at sport. The very existence of 'women's sport' is an acknowledgement of inequality.

    Twitter: @RichN95
  • yorkshirerawyorkshireraw Posts: 1,445
    Of the 'mass market' sports I'd say only Athletics & Tennis give a roughly equal profile (if not £) to the women's sport than men's, plus Swimming maybe?

    I wouldn't view track cycling (where coverage at least is fairly equal) as mass-market. It's in the same boat as rowing (so to speak...) - only really seen when the major games are on.

    My slight gripe with Women's cycling is the broad claim that it's more exciting / attacking / less controlled (which isn't always true) than men's racing, and therefore 'better' to watch.
    I suggest it's the lack of depth (which I know is linked to coverage / money / opportunities etc) that allows some of that. Personally I find the fact that around a dozen riders & a few teams pretty much dominate most of the races, regardless of terrain, 1 day or stage race etc, a bit dull.

    There's probably more possible contenders for a top 3 in Mens RVV or MSR than there are likely winners of any WWT race.

    I admit I don't know what the answer is though, but pretty sure it isn't random crowd-funders as a sustainable growth driver.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,911
    edited 4 March
    Imagine you are a young female popstar starting out. You've had small success which you want to build on. You record company gets you a gig supporting Ed Sheeran. Do you

    a) Promote the hell out of this, do a great concert, try to bring in some Sheeran's fans, grown your audience and use this to get better solo gigs, festivals, spots on Tv etc

    or

    b) Demand Sheeran gives you half the profits from the show and slag him off on twitter when doesn't when he says no, demanding equality, instead of sharing the highlights of the gig.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 22,111


    My slight gripe with Women's cycling is the broad claim that it's more exciting / attacking / less controlled (which isn't always true) than men's racing, and therefore 'better' to watch.
    I suggest it's the lack of depth (which I know is linked to coverage / money / opportunities etc) that allows some of that. Personally I find the fact that around a dozen riders & a few teams pretty much dominate most of the races, regardless of terrain, 1 day or stage race etc, a bit dull..

    In fairness, I don't the claim is ever that its "more exciting", but that there is no difference between Men & Womens as what matters is the difference is speed between the participants.

    This is opposed to any difference in skill or power that may be present in other sports - which is a whole other topic I'm going to avoid.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • yorkshirerawyorkshireraw Posts: 1,445
    ddraver said:


    My slight gripe with Women's cycling is the broad claim that it's more exciting / attacking / less controlled (which isn't always true) than men's racing, and therefore 'better' to watch.
    I suggest it's the lack of depth (which I know is linked to coverage / money / opportunities etc) that allows some of that. Personally I find the fact that around a dozen riders & a few teams pretty much dominate most of the races, regardless of terrain, 1 day or stage race etc, a bit dull..

    In fairness, I don't the claim is ever that its "more exciting", but that there is no difference between Men & Womens as what matters is the difference is speed between the participants.

    This is opposed to any difference in skill or power that may be present in other sports - which is a whole other topic I'm going to avoid.
    I have seen a few claims (usually on Twitter etc, or when the Women's tour is on) that women's racing in more exciting / open / uncontrolled and therefore should be TV covered purely for that.

    Your point with regards speed is correct and borne out by track cycling where there is a small pool of competitors. Same with Women's athletics - Olympic 1500m is the same distance for men and women with the same number of runners on the start line.
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 2,917
    ddraver said:


    My slight gripe with Women's cycling is the broad claim that it's more exciting / attacking / less controlled (which isn't always true) than men's racing, and therefore 'better' to watch.
    I suggest it's the lack of depth (which I know is linked to coverage / money / opportunities etc) that allows some of that. Personally I find the fact that around a dozen riders & a few teams pretty much dominate most of the races, regardless of terrain, 1 day or stage race etc, a bit dull..

    In fairness, I don't the claim is ever that its "more exciting", but that there is no difference between Men & Womens as what matters is the difference is speed between the participants.

    This is opposed to any difference in skill or power that may be present in other sports - which is a whole other topic I'm going to avoid.
    I don't agree with this. I like to watch the best. There's times that the women are riding noticeably slow. I remember a televised race fairly recently that was ridden at club run pace. I'm about as interested in women's cycling as I am under 23s or juniors when they're on. I'll watch them if there's nothing on, but won't sit there if it's terrible
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 5,757
    There's some comments on here that remind me of this:

    "Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girl sports. Such as hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing and such and such.."
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 24,911
    elbowloh said:

    There's some comments on here that remind me of this:

    "Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girl sports. Such as hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing and such and such.."


    Lisa can do whatever sport she wants. But she can't demand people watch her or pay her for it.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 22,111
    edited 4 March

    ddraver said:


    My slight gripe with Women's cycling is the broad claim that it's more exciting / attacking / less controlled (which isn't always true) than men's racing, and therefore 'better' to watch.
    I suggest it's the lack of depth (which I know is linked to coverage / money / opportunities etc) that allows some of that. Personally I find the fact that around a dozen riders & a few teams pretty much dominate most of the races, regardless of terrain, 1 day or stage race etc, a bit dull..

    In fairness, I don't the claim is ever that its "more exciting", but that there is no difference between Men & Womens as what matters is the difference is speed between the participants.

    This is opposed to any difference in skill or power that may be present in other sports - which is a whole other topic I'm going to avoid.
    I have seen a few claims (usually on Twitter etc, or when the Women's tour is on) that women's racing in more exciting / open / uncontrolled and therefore should be TV covered purely for that.
    Well.....it can be.

    Women's CX this winter vs Men's for example.

    The dutch women on the road are proving the opposite is true too. See also, USPS/Discovery, Sky trains etc etc.
    gsk82 said:


    I don't agree with this. I like to watch the best. There's times that the women are riding noticeably slow. I remember a televised race fairly recently that was ridden at club run pace. I'm about as interested in women's cycling as I am under 23s or juniors when they're on. I'll watch them if there's nothing on, but won't sit there if it's terrible

    I don't buy this, we are all used to watching men on a grindingly slow, flat, mid-Tour stages. We accept it as part of men's racing. Damning all-women racing because sometimes they go slow, however, is sexist

    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,730

    I just think this "them and us" mentality you seem to be pushing is completely wrong, FWIW.

    No, it's just being realistic.

    I mean, in your other post you said this:

    I also think that having a more popular, better funded sport will lead to more competitive racing in the longer term (as noted elsewhere, it's kind of dominated by a small number of people at the moment).

    While I don't disagree with your stated outcome, it's easy to throw out an opinion like this, but quite clearly far harder to identify how the goal can be achieved.
    Especially when the sport in question has a notorious history of chronic under-funding.

    Everybody has opinions, innovative ideas are harder to come by.


    Yeah, all fair points.

    It's equally easy to throw criticism at all attempts to boost equality, without coming up with any alternative solutions. Which I'm seeing a lot here.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 9,730
    RichN95. said:

    elbowloh said:

    There's some comments on here that remind me of this:

    "Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girl sports. Such as hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing and such and such.."


    Lisa can do whatever sport she wants. But she can't demand people watch her or pay her for it.
    To be fair the only financial investment I have in cycling as a spectator sport is my GCN £19.99 sub... I'm barely even paying to watch men's cycling.
Sign In or Register to comment.