How Miss Universe is overhauling the pageant to make you love it again

21 Jun

BusinessInsider.com – Miss Universe knows what you think of it. And it’s quietly making a number of changes that might make you rethink the pageant.

Many people criticize Miss Universe for being an antiquated celebration of superficial femininity. While the annual show remains popular with its core audience more than 50 years after it was founded, its image as a brand has seen better days.

That may be changing. Donald Trump unloaded the organization in 2015 after a falling out with its broadcaster, NBC, following his controversial statements about Mexican immigrants. He sold to WME/IMG, which is primarily known as a talent agency but is widely growing its business ventures, including original productions.

In Miss Universe, first of all, WME/IMG saw a chance to obtain a massive global audience that will take advantage of the company’s other relationships within entertainment. (Actress Julianne Hough cohosted this month’s Miss USA competition, and she also happens to be signed with WME.)

The new Miss Universe/Miss USA owners want to take full advantage of that audience in ways the old shows simply left behind. They launched the Miss U app, the first official app for the Miss Universe organization, which allows fans a say in the voting and gives them access to content before and after the shows.

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“There’s a huge community around this that we can leverage 365 days a year,” Michael Antinoro, who oversees Miss Universe at IMG Original Content, told Business Insider. “Frankly, in the past, most people looked at the organization, whether it was Miss USA or Miss Universe, once a year when the three-hour special came on TV. It was the only time they thought about it.”

But perhaps more significantly, WME/IMG wants to rethink what it means to be Miss USA or Miss Universe, and how it portrays the women aiming for the prizes.

Read the full article here.

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