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Fighting VisibilitySports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC$
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Jennifer McClearen

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043734

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043734.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Visibility and Difference in the UFC

Visibility and Difference in the UFC

(p.1) Introduction Visibility and Difference in the UFC
(p.iii) Fighting Visibility

Jennifer McClearen

University of Illinois Press

The introduction considers the increased visibility of female athletes in MMA--a phenomenon enabled by a 21st century media context that increasingly seeks out representations of difference, including gendered, racial, and sexual difference, on a variety of media platforms. Sports media brands are now beginning to align with other media entities to promote diverse representations as a method of increasing viewership, which makes branded difference a lucrative branding and marketing strategy. This chapter cautions, however, that the increased visibility of difference in the UFC ignores a labor model that allows the brand to profit on its diverse athletes who fight for low pay and few benefits as independent contractors in a gig economy.

Keywords:   UFC, MMA, Visibility, Branding, female athletes, labor, independent contractors, gig economy, branded difference

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