The campaign also includes a pre-roll video ad called “Name One Player” that highlights how many people, including children, struggle to name any female basketball players although male basketball players are often household names.
“If you talk to kids, or you talk to people, it’s hard for them to name female college athletes, and many times male college athletes’ names roll off the tongue,” Batliner said. “It’s really driving the point home that there needs to be more awareness, and that is what the ‘A Fair Shot’ program and platform is really out to do.”
According to data collected by Opendorse, a platform that helps match potential sponsors to athletes, out of roughly 55,000 collegiate athletes across more than 575 colleges and universities, male athletes currently rake in almost 72% of the total compensation from brand partnerships leaving women with only 28% of this overall income. Brands most commonly work with athletes to have them post branded content on the athletes’ social media accounts, per the data.
Male college football stars earned 52% of the compensation of all NIL deals through Feb. 28, according the study. But female basketball players have earned more than male basketball players, with 19% of all deals compared with 15% for men, according to the study. “A lot of female athletes have social media followings, especially on Instagram and TikTok, that marketers crave,” Sam Doerr, chief strategy officer of the NHL's Florida Panthers, recently told The Washington Post, which profiled the rise of women's hoops in the NIL industry. (The Panters have deals with female athlete at Florida Atlantic University, the Post reported.)
Beyond H&R Block’s commitment to sponsor a group of female collegiate athletes and provide them with free tax services, the “A Fair Shot” program also aims to create a shared network for female athletes across the country and in many different sports, Batliner said, “using the H&R Block platform to link all of these women together to drive awareness of the inequity” they face.
The 19 women funded by H&R Block as part of the campaign includes two basketball stars who partnered with the company in early March, Caitlin Clark and Cooke. Last week, H&R Block announced its full roster of sponsored athletes, including Jordan Chiles, a silver-medal winning member of the Team USA gymnastics team in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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