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Women's Basketball Gets a Local Boost

Jody Sims is a 30 year San Diego resident, an entrepenuer and a women’s sports fanatic. She was a cofounder of the GIGL (an annual golf fundraiser), founder of the Pacific Women’s Sports Foundation, and is a long time advocate of women’s sports. So when she happened upon a blog one day titled, “Women’s Professional Sports Need to Go Away,” she was incensed.

The blog, called The Rock Report out of Chicago, said heinous things about the state and future of women’s sports.

….women’s professional sports are INSIGNIFICANT in the sports landscape and need to go away. I understand that they heavily promote athletics for girls, but then again…who looks up to a WNBA player? I couldn’t name three players in the WNBA.

How about the WNBA…the crown jewel of women’s professional sports. What a success it’s been….right? The four-time-champion Houston Comets of the WNBA folded their organization this year and are the 5th team to do so in the 12-year history of the WNBA. Attendance at WNBA games has not had significant growth since 2002.

Women’s professional sports just don’t sell to the American public and is insignificant in the grand scheme of sport. Sports is, and probably will always be a male dominated field of entertainment.

When you have teams shutting down shop in the top organization of women’s athletics…that’s an issue. No one is watching, buying, caring, paying attention…..so here’s a message to women’s professional sports…...Here’s The Door….GET OUT!

Jody was shocked. Enraged, even…but she knew this blogger also had a point; people don’t support women’s sports as much as men’s. She took this blog as a personal "call to action" and serendipity occurred. She had already been attending the SDSU women’s basketball games after meeting the team through her work with the Girl Scouts. SDSU had recently established an Ambassador Program specifically to get more people to the games this season. They noticed Jody, every game, cheering there just behind their bench. They made Jody their first Ambassador, and it was a perfect fit.

After committing to bring at least 10 new season ticket holders to the table (but making a personal commitment which was much higher), Jody recently held a small shotgun-style golf competition on her own dime, getting sponsors to donate prizes, and holding a personal pep rally for SDSU women’s basketball.

At the end of the golf outing, Jody had the undivided attention of the attendees. She read the Rock Report’s comments and gave the following speech:

“Women represent more then 50% of the population. We must support women on all levels! Until women are able to achieve equality in sports we will continue to be under-valued and treated like second-class citizens. Sports are very important in our society, so when women achieve equality on the playing field, they will achieve equality in the boardroom. I believe this in my heart.

"We have a HUGE job ahead of us! What can we do? Where do we begin? You know the saying 'a thousand mile journey starts with a single step.' Your first step is the one you took today, coming here. Next, you pick a team, you buy a ticket and you go to the games. Then you get all your friends to pick a team, buy a ticket, and go to the games.”

Since Jody was speaking as an Ambassador of SDSU’s basketball team, of course she recommended that everyone in attendance buy season tickets to their games, but her message is clear: as women, we need support all women’s sports, because no one else is going to.

She reminded the attendees that once they start following SDSU, they will get to know the players and the coaches, and some of those players may end up moving on to the WNBA and they’ll end up following that team, as well. Soon they’ll attend WNBA games, watch them on tv, purchase apparel, etc. In other words, they’d be supporting women’s sports from the ground up.

“The same formula works for all women’s sports -- golf, tennis, soccer, bowling, softball, even the roller derby, “ she continued.

“Without women – that means you -- supporting women’s sports, they will go away.” Then she drove the point home even further by saying, “It’s still mostly men who are in the decision-making positions of power in the media and in sports marketing. If men feel threatened by strong women, of course they would be happy to see women’s sports go away. I refuse to let this happen.”

Of the 28 women who participated at the outing, 17 bought season tickets. She plans to have more rallies in the coming weeks and bring more and more people to the excitement of women's basketball.

Surprisingly, San Diego State has more women sports than they do men’s sports. In addition, the athletic program is extremely supportive of gender equality, with three women on the executive staff, which is a lot when compared to the athletic departments of other universities.

Jody would love for you to join her in this call to action. Don't validate that blogger in Chicago by letting women's sports sink.

If you haven’t already done so, buy your season tickets to the SDSU women’s basketball program. The season just started and it is so inexpensive to do so. You will get your money’s worth after just a couple games. While you’re at it, buy some for your friends, your family, your co-workers, and your neighbors!!! They make great birthday or holiday gifts!!

Home games are held at SDSU’s Viejas Arena (previously known as Cox Arena). Season tickets are $60 for general admission; $30 for seniors (55 and older) or military. Even if you can only make it to a few games, it’s the best value in town.

To purchase season tickets, call Jennifer Slaughter directly at the ticket office. Identify yourself as a recruit of Ambassador Jody Sims. Jennifer can be reached at 619-594-7892 x 3200 or jslaught@mail.sdsu.edu.

Jody’s next big sports related event will be “The Fling” next April in San Antonio. She is planning for the ultimate women’s party in conjunction with the Women’s NCAA Final Four Championships. To contact Jody and learn more about this event or her SDSU Ambassador work, email her jodysims@cox.net.