Shocked by the title? Well, it is indeed a very far fetched idea. But give it a thought. What will happen if Miss America gets merged into Miss USA?
As you must be aware, the Miss America pageant has been going through a very troublesome year. In the recent allegations made by the reigning Miss America, Cara Mund, it was mentioned that the Miss America Organisation (MAO) lost many sponsorships during this year and they haven’t been able to add any major sponsors since then. They lost their contract with Dick Clark Production (DCP) already and there’s a high possibility that Atlantic City and ABC may not renew Miss America for next year because of all that has happened during last few months. Within a few weeks, ABC will announce whether it will air the next edition of Miss America or not and it will also determine whether Atlantic City will fund it or not. And unfortunately due to lack of a TV partner like DCP, if ABC decides not to renew it, it’ll push Miss America on the verge of dissolution. On the other hand you have Miss USA owned by MUO, which isn’t particularly doing great in terms of TV ratings. But at least it still has some strong sponsors and is generating revenue though the Miss Universe pageant.
Why Miss America and Miss USA should merge?
The first and the most important reason is the history of Miss USA pageant. It originated from the Miss America system. So coming back to Miss America should rather feel like a complete circle.
- Common Goal:
Since last couple of years lines between Miss America and Miss USA in terms of what they are looking for in a winner have blurred to a huge extent. We have been seeing many successful crossovers between the two pageants. Even in a broad sense, both the pageants stand for empowerment of young girls. So merging into one entity wouldn’t alter the main ethos of these two organisations. Together than can achieve this goal in a much better way.
Despite their separate existence for 6 decades, majority of the people in the United States still aren’t able to differentiate between Miss America and Miss USA. There have been countless TV interviews where Miss USA state titleholders are asked about Miss America pageant or media referring to Miss USA as Miss America and vice versa. Creating one single national pageant will solve this whole identity crisis.
- Dilution of sponsorship:
Currently the sponsors interested in Pageantry are divided between two pageants. If there was only one national pageant, finding sponsors will be much easier. The new merged pageant can even negotiate for higher sponsorship since there are no other national pageants of this magnitude. Miss America stands for scholarships. By improved sponsorship, the scholarship opportunities can also improve.
- Dilution of Viewership:
Currently the fan base is divided into two separate groups. If there was one pageant which encompasses all the good features of both Miss America and Miss USA, there will be a much larger fan base which will result in improved ratings.
Both the pageants are suffering from declining number of participants at local level. Currently a few Miss America local title holders have decided to boycott the Miss America pageant in support of Cara Mund. If this trend continues the pageant won’t survive, not because of low TV ratings, but because of less participation. As Miss Denver pointed out, the national pageant will exist only if contestants apply at local level. Merging both the pageants together will club the participants of both the pageants. This will result in improved participation and will facilitate local franchise holders.
If both the pageants continue on the current path, survival will be difficult for both of them. But if they join hands, the most prestigious and oldest pageant system will stand a chance to stay afloat. Together they can form a much more comprehensive pageant system which focuses on both beauty and intelligence.
Mergers are not a bad thing. Many multinational companies adopt this technique to improve market share or to survive in the competition. Looking at current situation of both MAO and MUO, this seems like a logical solution. A single massive national pageant will any day earn much more returns as compared to current returns of Miss America and Miss USA. Unfortunately this seems possible only on paper and not in reality.
Author: Jinendra Aherkar.