Coco Gauff says bad marketing is a slap in the face to women's tennis

Gauff made her remarks ahead of the Dubai Championships.

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In most sports in the world, women do not get the same kind of treatment as men. The proverbial playing field is not fair and therefore the money paid to women is normally not fair either. The biggest sport in the United States is the NFL, but women don't even play, for instance. The world of tennis is a little different, thankfully, and pay equality is evolving as it should. Coco Gauff knows this first hand after winning the US Open in 2023 and getting paid the same as the men's winner, Novak Djokovic.

But we cannot lie to ourselves in thinking that tennis is fine and there are no issues. There are still many tournaments where the WTA winner is paid much less than the ATP winner. In fact, because we are so used to seeing unfair pay in general, it still seems almost shocking that the Grand Slams of tennis do pay equally. The smaller tournaments are the issue.

One important aspect of why women still get paid less is the investment that goes into marketing women's sports. There is a catch-22 because more money will be spent on marketing for those sports and events that make more money but more money cannot be made unless some sports and events are marketed better.

Coco Gauff gives the perfect response to the issue of equal pay in women's sports

Ahead of the 2024 Dubai Championships, Coco Gauff was asked about the issue and she had a well-thought-out and measured response. Her answer made a complex issue more simple. Because the problem is not that complex at all. It all comes down to money.

Gauff said, "I think the biggest thing in that most sports in the world, people watch the men's game more than the women's. I think we continue to bring fans. The problem is also we have to market our women's sports better, market us better.

"I think the past couple years I feel like the marketing for women's sports has been invested more in, and therefore there's been more watch-ability, people watching. I think if we continue to invest in women's sports, then it will profit almost the same as the men, garner equal pay. I'm grateful for us."

She is correct, of course. Major tournaments in tennis are ahead of the rest of most of the sports world in terms of equal pay. But the smaller tournaments need to do a better job, too. The fact is that for a tennis fan watching high-level matches between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic or Coco Gauff versus Iga Swiatek is the same: The tennis is exceptionally high quality no matter where or when the match is played. Now the pay always needs to be the same.

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