SOURCE: Seventeen Magazine

August 07, 2008 10:00 ET

Seventeen Magazine and WNBA Partner for Exclusive Sports Survey of Teen Girls

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 7, 2008) - Seventeen magazine and the Women's National Basketball Association have partnered for a comprehensive survey to explore how sports can change the lives of teen girls. Featured in the September issue of Seventeen, on newsstands August 12th, the survey revealed that 83% of teen girls play sports with basketball ranked as the number one participatory sport.

Girls play sports for a variety of reasons, but the top reason found in this survey is to exercise (68.4%). Other top reasons included forming friendships, competing and representing their schools. Challenges that young female sports enthusiasts endure include insecurities; 33% of girls who don't play sports say it's because they're worried that they wouldn't be good at it. In addition, 35% of girls also say their teams don't get as much equipment or field time as the boys' teams and 35% of girls have heard their peers make homophobic remarks about female athletes.

Despite these factors keeping some girls from playing sports, teens are able to look to inspiring pros, such as Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi, Serena and Venus Williams, as they take sports to a whole new level and even dismiss outdated stereotypes. The survey also revealed that 66% of teen girls believe that cheerleading is a sport, not some sideline event, and 71% think female cheerleaders should cheer at girls' sports events.

"Sports can have a profound impact on the lives of teen girls, helping them grow into emotionally and physically strong young women," said Seventeen Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket. "The challenge of competing, the thrill of winning and the lessons of losing will stay with them forever."

"We are pleased to partner with Seventeen magazine on this important survey as we know first hand how the role of sports can develop young girls into leaders," said WNBA President Donna Orender. "The women of the WNBA are strong, passionate and determined individuals who exhibit these traits both on and off the court. As a result, we are true believers in the significance of participation in sports for all girls and women."

Seventeen and the WNBA are also giving one lucky winner a trip to the 2009 WNBA Draft and a $2,500 Discover Gift Card for new team equipment in the "Do You Love Your Team?" contest. Entry information and additional prizes are available at www.seventeen.com/wnba.

Methodology:

The research, conducted in April, surveyed more than 1,000 13-20 year old females.

ABOUT SEVENTEEN:

Seventeen reaches more than 13 million readers every month and is today's largest selling teen beauty and fashion magazine. Seventeen is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) and one of the world's largest publishers of monthly magazines, with a total of 19 U.S. titles and nearly 200 international editions. Hearst Magazines reaches more adults in the U.S. than any other publisher of monthly magazines (73.4 million according to MRI, fall 2006). The company also publishes 19 magazines in the United Kingdom through its wholly owned subsidiary, The National Magazine Company Limited.

ABOUT WNBA:

Comprised of 14 teams and in its 12th season, the WNBA is the most successful women's professional team sports league in the world. The 2008 season tipped off May 17 with ESPN2 again providing appointment viewing in the form of its "WNBA Tuesdays" telecasts. During the 2008 season, combined coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts, while NBA TV, the league's 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular-season contests.

Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and women's health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.

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