Back on June 30th, weoweoweo posted a fanpost regarding the question as to whether Gina Carano could draw more media attention than UFC 100. This was in response to Sherdog's Loretta Hunt claiming that Carano would "single-handedly garner more press and media attention than UFC 100". The poll attached to the article indicated that 76% of fans agreed with weoweoweo's stance that she would not garner more press.
My stance actually supported Loretta's statement, but it's obvious that I was wrong. Even more interesting, I knew I was wrong following the July 14th press conference in New York City at the WaMu Center due to the real lack of coverage of the press conference from the mainstream media giants. Luke Thomas made some solid points in a post talking about the press conference and the use of gender roles and Carano's own personal story to shatter those roles within this sport. While Strikeforce has tried to play to the fans with that type of storyline, they have still failed in truly promoting this fight to the potential it has as an interest to fans everywhere, specifically women.
There are some major problems with the public relations and marketing for this event that really sink it, but the overall appeal may just not be there. First and foremost, there has been a true lack of marketing for this fight. While we can check out the Flash advertising on many websites promoting the card, there hasn't been a push of advertising to casual fans. Moreover, I haven't seen too many ads trying to link her stints on American Gladiators with this match-up. It seems to me that Strikeforce is failing in trying to connect her popularity from other sources with this bout so that fans who haven't seen her in quite some time would make the connection.
We also haven't seen too many mainstream media outlets focus on the event. We are currently in the week of the event without any huge push to put her all over our televisions. I would have figured some major media outlets would have picked up on the story about shattering gender roles, but it just hasn't happened. I'm not sure whether there just isn't enough interest, or if this fight is simply considered a "joke" by some outlets.
There also seems to be a failure in legitimately promoting her opponent, Christiane "Cyborg" Santos. While she isn't the beauty that is Gina Carano, I would have thought the angle would be to pump her up as this major force that Gina is going to truly have a tough time fighting against. Once again, it goes back into the marketing of this event... which almost seems even more non-existent than that of which Affliction had done with Fedor and Barnett or Fedor and Arlovski.
We surely can't blame this media disappointment on the fact that this isn't a battle of the best women in MMA either. Most media outlets probably don't have the slightest clue as to who else is out there that could give either one of these fighters a run for their money. The Tara La Rosa's of the women's MMA scene just aren't a factor unless you're a hardcore fan.
It's possible this card could garner some solid numbers on Showtime, but it would have made more sense to push a CBS event in my mind if they had some other solid fights. Obviously, the card has had some cursed things happen to it. But the event won't outdraw UFC 100 in viewers, and it surely won't outdraw UFC 100 for media attention simply because Gina Carano is "hot" or she is a female. It's just not receiving that kind of treatment from women-specific outlets in the media. It's only receiving some minor coverage from sports' giants in the media arena, and the UFC 100 event definitely received a lot of attention from most major outlets, granted it wasn't all great.
I guess the real question is whether or not an event that is headlined by women could ever draw a tremendous amount of media attention. Do we need to see two "hot" beauties battle it out for that to happen? Perhaps they need to be both "hot" and very good in the sport? I could definitely see the latter of the two, but being "hot" just sounds so unfair, doesn't it? The only real way I see this truly happening is if the UFC starts their own women's division. It'll give those women a huge boost from the UFC marketing machine, and the coverage would already be there from media outlets already covering those UFC events. Eventually, somewhere down the road... the women's division would produce some very compelling fights that would gain some major attention from the media.