The NFL is all about the ladies this year, from selling team-branded gear at top women’s stores, to rooting out sexism within the league toward women sports reporters. And I have to say, these new efforts are totally a win.
Known as the ultimate boys’ club, the NFL is now reaching out to women and improving their image to include more equality. And, it makes sense, both men and women enjoy football and it’s smart to avoid alienating nearly half of your audience with sexist spats in the locker room, one-sided marketing and ill-fitting apparel.
Did you know that 44% of NFL fans are women? Yep, that’s why the league is launching a $10 million marketing effort with television commercials and a new website at http://www.nfl.com/women. Though the campaign officially begins today, I was surprised to see Jets branded panties, tanks, flip-flops and other items at the Victoria’s Secret PINK store in SoHo this weekend.
When I came across this article about the new campaign, I realized this was a huge step for the professional football organization, yet it also seems like a no-brainer. I mean, football fandom is intense and people who love a team really want to show it. Most women I know follow a team and support it by wearing shirts, sweatshirts and whatever else works for them.
I’m just glad they are finally making clothes for women that fit our shape, have cool designs and are generally more attractive without being uncomfortable, unrealistic, or overtly “sexy.”
Supposedly the league has thousands of new designs for all the pro teams and will be selling the products at over 3,000 stores.
In an effort to gain some yardage in women’s interest, the NFL put together a Look Book with wives of football players modeling the clothes on the new website mentioned above. Plus, there are bios of each woman and webisodes in the “Beyond the Sidelines” section.
Now, I get selling a wide variety of products from apparel, to yoga mats and lotion, because everyone expresses their athletic zeal in different ways, but I’m going to be honest, I’m calling a flag on the phrase, “Who says football isn’t pretty?” What does that have to do with clothes that fit properly? In fact, a few of the phrases in the Look Book are a bit annoying, including one of the names for the tees, “Oil Can Flirt Tee.” Other than that, the whole thing seems pretty great.
Jezebel disagrees in some respects, asking the question: “What Does Football Have to Do with Lotion?” They think it’s stereotyping women’s behavior in the types of products they are branding, which is partly true, but I’d totally buy the lotion for a guy who’s a fan.
And, I get it, it’s fun to put festive lotions, soaps or towels in your bathroom on game nights or if you’re hosting a Super Bowl party — no matter the gender of your guests. I mean, it’s for decoration, it’s not a must-have like a T-shirt, but someone will totally buy it.
The National Football League has finally opened their eyes to the fact that women like football too, though it was motivated by money and not feminism, I’ll take this as a score for equality.
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- NFL Woos Women Shoppers at Thousands of Stores (abcnews.go.com)