Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, June 02, 2021

pole position
By posting the above image of high-school (and college-bound) pole vaulter Allison Stokke, I supposed I’m contributing to the out-of-control Websploitation that she and her family are encountering:

The wave of attention has steamrolled Stokke and her family in Newport Beach, Calif. She is recognized — and stared at — in coffee shops. She locks her doors and tries not to leave the house alone. Her father, Allan Stokke, comes home from his job as a lawyer and searches the Internet. He reads message boards and tries to pick out potential stalkers.

“We’re keeping a watchful eye,” Allan Stokke said. “We have to be smart and deal with it the best we can. It’s not something that you can just make go away.”

But this accompanying photo is hardly titillating, and anyway there are loads more accessible image sources for the sudden 18-year-old phenom, starting with the original disseminator.

Not that anyone’s asking me, but rather than try to stamp out this wildfire of Web celebrity, maybe Stokke and her family should, in turn, exploit it. It occurs to me that pole vaulting is among the niche-iest of sports; that Stokke should come across even limited fame within that context is a unique situation.

So why not make the most of it? Why not buy/procure the now-defunct AllisonStokke.com site, make it the official online home of the only recognizable pole vaulter (male or female) out there, and make some money off the situation while it lasts?

The best parallel I can think of, at least in terms of fringe sports celebrity, is Gabrielle Reece. She stood out on the volleyball circuit with both her play and her looks, and has parlayed that into a physical-fitness mini-empire. No reason why Stokke can’t achieve the same thing, even for a pre-defined limited stint.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/02/2021 06:37:29 PM
Category: Internet, Other Sports, Women
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  1. Right on, Cos — being cautious/wary of such fame is prudent, but this is also an incredible opportunity — for promotion of the sport, women athletes, scholarships, contests, etc.

    In fact, I’d wager that someone, somewhere is trying to figure out how to translate this into a reality TV show!

    Comment by david — 06/03/2021 @ 04:21:01 AM

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