Sports By Brooks points us to this story that was featured in the Greensboro News & Record, detailing the ACC's reluctance to openly embrace its gay female fan base.
The story, written by Robert Bell, ran Sunday (even though the women's ACC tournament was held March 5-8th — Maryland won, btw) points out that the WNBA has gone out of its way to court its thriving lesbian fans, but there hasn't been much headway in the ACC — or any collegiate divisions, for that matter — to embrace lady-on-lady kissin'. But they were there alright, in all of their pink triangle'd glory:
On Friday, 13,599 fans watched UNC's quarterfinal victory over Clemson. The crowd was a mix you'd never see at the more-exclusive ACC men's tournament: children from area schools, dads with their teenaged daughters, entire families, retired couples.
And lesbians. Alone, in couples and in large groups of friends.
"It's nice to just walk around the concession stand and see thousands of other women just like you," said Lisa McGehee, 46, of Greensboro.
As successful as the women's tournament has been in terms of attendance, Griffin and others believe it would do even better if officials would target lesbians in their marketing.
"It seems to me it makes no sense economically not to market to every part of your fan base," Griffin said. "The object is to put fans into seats, isn't it?"
It is. But it seems obvious that the NCAA — regardless of how many gay women follow the tournament — would have to drastically shift their marketing efforts in order to go after both the youth demo (which they covet) and the lesbians. They wont' say it, but they're ill-equipped to deal with that reality.
ACC Reluctant To Acknowledge Lesbian Fans [Greensboro News & Record]