With Sharon in Napa with Janie, I rewatched Branded. Sharon and I had originally watched it two months ago when it first came out, but decided to watch it again before writing about it. This is the ninth film in a new series from ESPN films. Called Nine for IX (as in Title IX), the series includes films about women made by women.
The film explores the marketing of woman athletes. Using specific athletes to examine the issues, the documentary looked at Billy Jean King in the 1960's, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in the 1970's, Mary Lou Retton in the 1980's and Anna Kournikova in the 1990's.
Branded shifted gears at that point to look 1999 Women's World Cup Soccer Team. After focusing on Brandi Chastain taking off her shirt in the World Cup Final game, it used this as a spring broad to explore the struggles and challenges of marketing women's team sports.
The documentary then shifted gears back to individuals. It looked at Gabrielle Reece in the early 2000's, Danica Patrick in the late 2000's and "Lolo" Jones in the 2010's.
With I watched the film the first time, I missed the structure of Branded. I didn't really realize that it was moving forward through time. I enjoyed the film much more with the second viewing. While I was thinking that this was one of my least favorite ESPN Films in recent memory, I would now rank it more in the middle of the pack. It makes me that that I should go back rematch some of the other documentaries.
Branded is also available in iTunes.