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what marketing strategies they employed for promoting female road running events,

attracting female consumers, and what’s the relationship within road running actors.

Consequently, my second specific research question is as follows:

RQ2: What types of marketing strategies have road running-related actors (including

road running magazines, organizers, and sporting goods manufacturers) employed to

attract female consumers?

3.2 Methods

The main core of the current study is women’s representation in the media,

especially with respect to road running; therefore, via discourse analysis, I investigated

how the media constructs female images during road running, and by detailed

comparison and analysis, I sought to draw conclusions beyond the discourses and the

features of road running publications.

However, studying road running publications alone cannot depict the whole

picture of female road running in Taiwan. The appeal of road running races is apparent

in its capacity to attract high-profile corporate sponsors, international corporations, and

the support of government and celebrities at events across Taiwan, which means that

more actors were involved. Accordingly, I followed up with in-depth interviews with

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road running-related actors, including a road running magazine editor, sporting goods

manufacturers, and road running organizers.

(1) Discourse analysis

Discourse analysis has been frequently used to interpret “social artifacts” (游美惠

You Mei-Hui, 2000), which are constructed by society; therefore, it is worth using

discourse analysis to answer the first research question about how road running media

represents women.

Using the keyword “road running” to search three major online bookstores

(Bo-Ke-Lai, Eslite, and Kingstone) on November 1, 2015, I found 390 books and 201

magazines at Bo-Ke-Lai, 51 Chinese books at Eslite, and 219 books and 50 magazines

at Kingstone. When I deleted the repeated or irrelevant ones9, there were 52 road

running publications, including books and magazines. To obtain a vivid picture of how

media content represents women in road running publications, I compared two genres

of road running publications, one for the general public and the other specifically for

women, aiming to make a contrast to highlight the features of female road running

publications. The books chosen for the analysis were based on their selling rank at the

9 For example, children books, fiction novel, marketing magazines, tour guide books, etc.

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Bo-Ke-Lai online bookstore. There were six road running books for the general public

and four women’s road running books in the top 10. Considering the publication date

and content, I rejected two books. The famous runner Gin Oy had two books in the top

10; one was Travel Running! (旅跑.日本:歐陽靖寫給大家的跑步旅遊書)and the

other was Run! Girls Run(歐陽靖寫給女生的跑步書:連我都能跑了,妳一定也可

以!), ranking number three. Though Travel Running! was ranked number 1, it was

published recently (September 2, 2015), and compared with Run! Girls Run, it stressed

travel in Japan via participating in Japanese marathons, which made it unsuitable for

the analysis. Therefore, I chose Run! Girls Run as Gin Oy’s representative work.

Another book, The Craziness of 51.5 Kilometers (51.5 公里的瘋狂:賈永婕的三鐵美

麗人生), was written by Taiwanese artist Chia Yung-Chieh (賈永婕). It ranked number

nine in sales and mainly addressed her iron girl triathlon experience. Because the topic

involved more than road running, I dropped it from the analysis, leaving three road

running books for the general public, three for female as the analysis samples.

Table 2: Sampling female road running books

Cover Title Author Year Publisher Ranking

(Bo-Ke-Lai)

Table 3: Sampling general road running books The Running

To select magazines for the analysis, I used the keyword “running” at the

Bo-Ke-Lai online bookstore, obtaining 239 results. I narrowed down the context to Chinese

magazines since I focused on the Taiwan road running phenomenon, leaving only 153

results were left. I concentrated on running magazines, not just a few pages on running

topics within a magazine. Hence, Urban Runners, Running Master, Running Life(跑步

生活), Runnnn(跑跑步), and iRun (愛跑客) qualified as options. Regarding the number

of issues, Urban Runners and Running Master both published three issues in 2014 and

2015, and iRun(愛跑客) only had one issue, too few for the sample. In contrast,

Running Life( 跑 步 生 活 )and Runnnn( 跑 跑 步 )printed eleven and seven issues, respectively, enough to provide an adequate sample. Interestingly, Running Life(跑步

生活)and Runnnn(跑跑步)have two very different styles. Three issues of Running

Life(跑步生活) stressed women-related topics, whereas the Runnnn(跑跑步)agenda

was more general, providing first-hand marathon news and its articles did not have a

particular gender preference. Therefore, for Running Life(跑步生活), I chose three

issues (one, four, and a special issue) that addressed women’s topics, and for Runnnn(跑

跑步), I chose three bestselling issues (four, five, and six) at the Bo-Ke-Lai online

bookstore for the analysis. I also aimed to compare the two magazines.

Table 4: Sampling road running magazines

Cover Title Volume Year Publisher

4,5,6 2014 Dotmoremedia

達摩媒體

(2) In-depth interviews

In the literature review, it became clear that the media is part of the social structure

that constructs mainstream ideologies; many actors are involved in fanning the flames

of female road running. Road running, as a participatory sport, has the potential to

gather thousands of runners at the same time and same place, thereby generating

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astonishing economic scales and attracting the attention of diverse sponsors. As a result,

I intend to investigate the types of marketing strategies that are employed by road

running related actors: sporting goods manufacturers, road running organizers, and

magazine editors.

Since 2011, sporting goods manufacturers have been enthusiastically involved in

holding road running races to promote their own sports products. Therefore, a trend that

began with Nike has expanded to include Mizuno, Puma, and New Balance.

Accordingly, sporting goods manufacturers are key actors in the road running industry.

This is especially the case for Nike, which created the first female-only road running

event in Taipei. Although Mizuno was a bit late in deciding to hold women’s road

running races from 2013, there is no doubt that Nike and Mizuno are the two most

representative sporting goods manufacturers in Taiwan’s female road running industry.

Nevertheless, it has been difficult to contact sporting goods manufacturers during this

research. In cases when I did manage to get into contact with them, they directly asked

the marketing companies who arranged their road race events to be my interviewees.

In this study, therefore, road running organizers speak in place of sporting goods

manufacturers.

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Through my friends and professors’ introductions, from January to April 2016, I

interviewed four marketing company staff members (interviewees RO1-RO4) and one

road running magazine editor (interviewee MO1). Nike has delegated Taiwan’s Nike

female road running work to several companies. WongHe PR & Marketing (旺合公關)

take charge of public relations and all media communications, and Flight International

Marketing(展逸行銷公司) deals with practical issues related to the route, such as

advance running route planning, contacting sponsors, and servicing runners. I

interviewed the manager of WongHe PR & Marketing (interviewee RO1) and the

director of Flight International Marketing (interviewee RO3), both of whom have much

experience in organizing Nike’s female road races. For its Lady’s Running work,

Mizuno has appointed Delicacy Integrated Marketing (驊采整合行銷). I interviewed

one of their managers (interviewee RO4), who was responsible for the 2015 Mizuno

Lady’s Running event in Kaohsiung and the 2016 Mizuno Lady’s Running event in

Taipei. AimHit (精鍊公關)is another professional sports marketing company under the

Elite Public Relations Group(精英公關集團). In this study, I also interviewed their

general manager (Interviewee RO2), who has a great understanding of launching

marketing campaigns for road running events. He tends to take a third party’s

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perspective, giving objective comments on the female road running events organized

by Nike and Mizuno. The interview outline focuses on three parts: when the interviewee

became involved in the industry; his/her opinions about women joining road running

events; marketing strategies for women’s road running events; and why female

customers are targeted. Of course, different interviewees were asked slightly different

questions, but the questions mainly addressed how gender is taken into consideration.

See Table 5 for basic information about the organizers of road running that were

interviewed.

I considered an interview with a road running magazine editor to be necessary if I

wanted to know more about the media content side, and gain information beyond that

provided by the road running magazines. Running Life stresses more women-related

topics than other road running magazines. I interviewed one of the three main editors,

who is a senior member of Running Life (see Table 6). In the interview, my focus was

on how road running magazines select their content, whether they have special gender

preferences, and their cooperation with sporting goods manufacturers. The interviewees

are given pseudonyms to maintain confidentiality, and any identifying information

about themselves is withheld. The interview questions are listed in Appendix A.

Table 5: Interviewee basic information: road running organizers Interviewee

No.

Company Position Experience Interview Date

(Year/ Month)

RO2 AimHit Sports Marketing and Communication

RO3 Flight International Marketing (Responsible for Nike’s

marketing)

Director 2011-2016 Nike women road running, Standard Chartered Marathon, Gaomei Wetland Marathon

2016/03

RO4 Delicacy Integrated Marketing (Responsible for Mizuno’s Lady Running)

Manager 2015 Mizuno Lady’s Running (Kaosiung) 2016 Mizuno Lady’s Running (Taipei)

2016/04

Table 6: Interviewee basic information: media producer Interviewee

No.

Company Position Experience Interview Date

(Year/ Month) M1 Running Life Magazine Editor 2013- 2016 Running Life

Magazine editor

2016/03

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Chapter Four: Results and Analysis

在文檔中 女生跑起來! 企業、媒體與路跑中的女性 - 政大學術集成 (頁 45-55)