Maya Moore is making moves off of the basketball court. On Wednesday, Moore is the first women's player to be a part of the Nike Jordan product line. The news was released on Enhanced Online News' website.
"I am thrilled to welcome Maya Moore into the Jordan Brand," Michael Jordan was quoted in the release on EON. "Not only has Maya proven to be a prolific winner on the court, but her hunger and determination to make an impact off the court makes her a valuable addition to the Jordan family. We look forward to working with Maya as she carries her success to the next level."
"As a student of the game, it is a dream come true to align myself with a brand that has a rich history in sports," Moore said in the press release. "Like most kids, I grew up idolizing Michael Jordan and continue to work relentlessly to reach his iconic status on the court. I'm truly motivated to take my career to the next level as a member of Team Jordan."
While this is a great information, some sports bloggers, like Yahoo Rivals' Jeff Eisenberg, question whether Moore's landmark endorsement will make a difference in women's sports. Inquiring minds want to know if she will elevate the brand and the sport as Jordan did during his career. Eisenberg writes, "Expectations were similar for former collegiate stars Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker when they entered the WNBA and signed prominent endorsements with the likes of Nike, Adidas and Gatorade. Taurasi has led the WNBA in scoring four times and Parker is a former league MVP, yet apathy toward the league is pervasive enough that it's possible to argue both were bigger stars in college than today."
What he calls apathy, we call sexism. Audiences don't watch women's games the way they do men's basketball because they aren't promoted enough or regarded as legitimate by sportswriters, commentators or many professional male athletes. If audiences start watching women's basketball with the same zeal that they watch men's basketball, then advertisers will get on board and help elevate the sport to higher heights. They did it with golf and are currently doing it with soccer in the United States.
Like Jordan, Moore cannot do it alone. Audiences, commentators, writers and fans have to get on board with women's sports like basketball. Instead of asking what Moore can do for the advertising and women's-basketball industries, perhaps we should be asking what they can do for her.