Rack Starz – The “Slutifying” of Skilled and Accomplished Women to Make a Buck

Hi F&F,

A promotion for Rack Starz just hit my Twitter feed today. It was a tweet to invite people to enter a drawing for a launch party prizepack.   I was curious about it; so I decided to check it out to see if it was worth entering. Here are the highlights (or should I say lowlights) of what I learned about Rack Starz.

Rack Starz is about the game of pool; as in “rack’em up”; let’s shoot some pool.  The aim is to promote the game of pool and take the game “out of the smoke-filled back room and into the limelight.” That sounds fine; until you visit the website.

When I got to the website I thought I was accidentally led to a porn website. I was not. Sex sells. It’s a cliché, but clichés have been known to be true. The website pushes that point.

Subtlety is not the order of the day so if you missed the double entendre of the word rack (which is very possible, if you contemplate the demographics of the audience they are speaking to), the website hits you over the head with it; with pictures of the Rack Starz. They are 12 women dressed in plunging necklines, tight tank tops and belly shirts.  There is also a slickly produced YouTube video. Finally, to make sure that the point hits home; they use the tagline – “Brains, Beauty and an Amazing RACK”.

I was getting a bad feeling about this, yet the site claimed it was a legitimate gaming or sports concept. Furthermore, the site assured that the women can really play the game.  They aren’t just a bunch of pretty faces with significant T & A.   They’ve got skills.

That was confirmed as I scanned through the biographies. They were crammed with an impressive number of tournament and championship wins. I began to think this program or league or whatever you call it might be great to watch.  I’m buying it; until they add this dandy declaration –

“There is nothing hotter than a sexy woman bending over a pool table to take a shot, but the women of Rack Starz crank up the temperature to a steady boil.”

Ugh; can I just say, this kind of marketing makes my skin crawl and gives me the dry heaves.  I’m all for the promotion of billiards and the recognition of the women who play the game skillfully, but why is the tone so sleazy and low-class?  I understand that they want to move billiards out of the smoke-filled rooms, but did they have to take up residence in “Skankville”?

So folks, Rack Starz isn’t exactly a case of trouble, right here in River City! With a capital “T”, that rhymes with “P”, and that stands for Pool, (love The Music Man), but it is an example of something very troubling; as in – trash that rhymes with cash that leaves us all a little abashed.

Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…indeed.

Peace,

ATreeGrowsinBklyn

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About atreegrowsinbklyn

I’m an analog girl living in a digital world. I’m happy except when I’m sad. I’m serious, smart and sophisticated except when I’m silly, obtuse and crude. I’m ambitious and disciplined; except when I’m apathetic and self indulgent. I‘m thoughtful, generous and honest; except when I’m insensitive, cheap and lying. I’m grateful; I’m grateful; I am grateful.
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15 Responses to Rack Starz – The “Slutifying” of Skilled and Accomplished Women to Make a Buck

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    Good post, bad website!
    The more it changes, I’m afraid —-

  2. Rackstarz says:

    Hello atreegrowsinbkln,
    We understand that not everyone is going to like or approve the RACK STARZ brand. People are going to have their opinions, may they be good or bad. Others are going to love the concept, understand the contradiction and stand behind the fact that Rack Starz is changing the game of pool for the POSITIVE.
    With that being said, the Rack Starz would like to extend an invite to you to attend their official launch party this Friday in the city to open up your eyes and see that they are not “slutifying” the game. They are promoting the sport to a wider range demographic and bringing more interest to the game.

    • Hi Rack Starz,
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. I don’t follow pool but, as an outsider I admit the smoke filled back room imagery you are trying to dispel is alive in my imagination and it’s not very appealing. Unfortanely, what you’ve replaced it with is equally unappealing and just doesn’t seem to elevate the game or the players in a way that is commendable.

      For the women pool players of Rack Starz to achieve the level of excellence in the game that you claim, and what is supported by their biographies, is admirable. I think to reach that level of play demonstrates loyalty and commitment to the game. It speaks to such positive traits as self-discipline, determination, perseverance and hard work. I respect anyone who strives for excellence and pursues their passions and shares their talent with others. I wish everyone had a chance to make a living doing what they love.

      I also understand that all forms of enternatinemt aren’t intended for all people. I am not a marketing professional but, I suspect the marketing techniques you have chosen to employ, in order to bring the game to a wider audience, is the result of extensive market studies. I suspect your target audience is males between the ages of 17 and 35. I don’t fall into that group.

      Your website and videos are not speaking to me but, I listened in. My disappointment is that the branding of Rack Starz is not worthy of the Rack Starz; themselves. I’m not thrilled that the images on the site are rather suggestive; nor am I freaked out by that. What I found troubling was the tone of your text. To me your marketing machine failed to successfully communicate that this is a renewed and less seedy era of billiards. They placed a dime store picture frame on the art of pool and marred the artistry of the female players.

      I sincerely hope that the players continue to rack up the accolades (pun intended) but, I also hope that your marketing message gets refined so that the benefits to the bottom line aren’t so dependent on the bust line of the players.

      Sincerely,

      ATreeGrowsinBklyn

  3. Bella says:

    Any skills these women might have, unfortunately, take a back seat to the blatant display of their goodies. Seriously, can anyone tell me why some women feel the one way to garnish attention is by indeed displaying their “rack”?

  4. Danilda says:

    My stand on this is that owning sensuality does not define a woman as a slut,
    using your own skill and god given gifts that you already portray in the everyday life to publicly demonstrate them in a calendar does not make a girl a slut, it makes them confident. Defining them as “skanks” or “sluts” is going a little too far when personally, no-one knows these individuals in the real life. Many women, stars or not, would love to be part of something great. So what they show a little bit of skin! so does every other woman in front of the mirror when no-one is looking, or on a hot sunny day around the city. As a woman that is confident about her sexuality, and all her god given talents, I support the Rack Starz.

    • Hi Danilda,

      Thanks for sharing your views and voicing your support of Rack Starz. My post was an observation of the marketing method being employed by the Rack Starz organization. I am unable to comment on individuals that I have not met, but I am free to comment on the marketing material that came to my attention.

      Peace,

      ATreeGrowsinBklyn

  5. eof737 says:

    I hear you and I’m glad Rockstarz responded… Sadly, it doesn’t change the facts though, as you pointed out.

  6. Vince CM PUNK says:

    These women are not “slutifying”(this isn’t even a word) themselves, they are simply using their sexuality to get more exposure… it is no different than big business corps using sex to sell their products which helps to produce millions of dollars for them. These women are very skilled as you saw in their bios. If you walked up to one of these women in the middle of the street, you wouldn’t say hey there goes a great pool player. You would say, hey look at that gorgeous woman that just walked by…(or if you are a perv, you will look at there butt) So The Rackstarz are using that as a way to gain exposure. They are not nude in any pics nor does their website resemble a porn site. In fact, they use their beauty and sexuality to gain your attention and once they have your attention, they introduce you to who they are, their accomplishments and their ambitions. One even has a degree in psychology. One thing comes to mind when I think of this article. Would the article be similar if it was done about Jeanette Lee when she posed nude for ESPN The Magazine’s body issue in 2010. She is an established former no.1 pool player who posed nude without being indecent. I Think not, but because these women have not yet established their place in the sport, they are to be ridiculed for they way they promote themselves. That’s very ridiculous. But remember, they got your attention and any publicity is good publicity.

    • Hi Vince,

      Thanks for sharing your views. I believe it is the Rack Starz organization that has ridiculed the talented women they seek to promote. I think the Rack Starz marketing machine took the obvious and “easy way” to promote this women’s pool concept. I believe that if they had taken a more thoughtful approach they could have broadened the audience; achieved financial success; and elevated the game and the regard for the players; all without stooping to the super salacious tone of the current marketing campaign. It would have required a greater intellectual investment by the owners but, I think the long term ROI would justify the upfront cost.

      Finally, I am not an academic but, I’m aware that “stultifying” is not a word. The term was a marketing ploy, very similar to the one used by Rack Starz. The term is eye-catching and provocative; and as you said – it “got your attention and any publicity is good publicity”. Thanks for visiting my blog.

      Peace,

      ATreeGrowsinBklyn

  7. Rackstarz says:

    …and it’s the support of the fans that matters! We appreciate each and every one of you!!! Live in the NYC area? Would love to have you at the event this Friday. If you’re interested, email: info@therackstarz.com and I will provide further details.

  8. Kevin Tan says:

    I think that they are just people who love the game and are trying to do what they can to promote the sport. Yes, they are using their beauty to draw in attention, but it’s not as if female golfers and tennis players wear baggy long slacks either.

    At this point, pool has been kind of struggling a bit, so I can’t really blame them for feeling the need for a slightly bolder advertising campaign. It appears to be getting some attention and publicity, which was kind of the point. I can see how the in your face marketing style might be a bit much for some people, but maybe it’s a bit premature to get into the name calling until after seeing the launch party and what they are all about.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for lending your voice to the conversation.

      These players have achieved a level of excellence that puts them in a category that is deserving of attention. I’m not really all that concerned about what they wear. I am concerned about the undignified spin that the marketing team has put on the whole thing. Even if the women were posed and presented in potato sacks, the prose portrayed them poorly and unprofessionally.

      Peace,
      ATreeGrowsinBklyn

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