Every movement begins with a moment.

Marketing Opportunities on the Rise for Female Sports Fans

Posted 5 December 2013 12:00 AM by Kelly Geisel

I’ve been interested in sports my entire life. And while I’ve always loved the drama of football, I could never choose an NFL team to root for. That all changed with the retirement flip-flopping of Brett Favre, the record-shattering quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. After one of his many retirement attempts, Favre tried unsuccessfully to keep his starting position from his backup, Aaron Rodgers. By the time Favre and Green Bay finally parted ways, it was on bad terms. During the whole ordeal, Rodgers took the high road and said he only wanted what was best for the team. I admired that, and I wanted him to succeed. By the end of his second season, which ended in a heartbreaking loss on a Rodgers interception, I knew there was no turning back: I was all in on the Green Bay Packers. 

The old adage that only men watch football is completely outdated. There are not only more women watching, but also more merchandising and messaging focused on us. This is no longer just a space for beer, truck and potato chip ads. The NFL understands that women account for about 45% of their overall fan base. An eMarketer study of TV viewers compiled the summer of 2013 shows that 47% of women age 25–44 enjoy watching pro football on television. A similar study in 2009 showed that about 29% of women considered themselves NFL fans. The growth in the female audience has made the NFL and women-focused industries take notice.

 When actress and avid baseball fan Alyssa Milano wanted to support her favorite team, she was surprised to see there weren’t any jersey sizes made for women. She fixed the problem by launching her own line of apparel, Touch, in 2007. Featuring collections for the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL teams, Touch was one of the first steps toward making games and apparel more appealing to women. 

Milano’s thinking was quickly embraced by the pro sports leagues — especially the NFL. Representing and promoting the most popular sport in the country, the NFL continually seeks new marketing opportunities to expand their reach. Women’s apparel is just one more profit-generating avenue to explore. 

The NFL is a juggernaut. Even with a $765 million lawsuit settlement with former players over the medical complications they face after retirement, television ratings for week 1 of this season were among the highest seen by NBC, CBS and Fox for an opening weekend. As ratings continue to rise, making NFL games among the top-rated overall programs on a weekly basis, NFL viewership will continue to reach an audience that is almost half female. As a result, they are investing more and more in creating marketing programs geared toward women. But their efforts don’t always reach the goal line.

One NFL spot last year highlighted their women’s clothing line but missed the mark by directing their efforts at men. The message it shared: Here’s how to make the little lady (I paraphrase) in your life happy with her own gear. Recognizing their failure, they revised their game plan and, in 2013, hit the airwaves with a new ad. This time they got it right. Featuring a gritty, motivational speech that John Harbaugh — aka the coach of reigning Super Bowl champs Baltimore Ravens — gave his team in 2009, the ad uses female-empowering visuals to drive home the message that women can do anything. And we can (including but not limited to giving the NFL a highly lucrative consumer segment to pursue). This ad, with its tough, dark feel, is the antithesis of their initial approach to women’s clothing, which embraced all things pink and white. 

It’s not only the NFL that is working to promote their products to women. Even fashion magazines and cosmetic companies have gotten into the sport. Cover Girl has released a new nail polish campaign that features manicures in team colors. They’re using Twitter hashtags like “#fanicure” and “#nailgating,” and their mobile site promotes every team with official colors and design ideas that are easy to purchase. 

In the September issue of Marie Claire, readers received a “Savvy Girl’s Guide to Football” starring sports enthusiast and actress Minka Kelly. The guide provided a football terminology glossary for those new to the sport plus tips on what to wear and which recipes to cook when hosting game parties. Other national brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Old Navy have also promoted sports team-themed lines of women’s clothing. The fact that major players in industries separate from the NFL are trying to tap into the sport’s popularity with women speaks volumes. 

Suffice it to say, this formerly “boys-only” arena holds tremendous marketing potential for brands to profit from female fans — especially when you consider that most of these women control the spending and finances for their families. If the category’s major players can develop an effective strategy for reaching this growing consumer base, then they can win big.





#crisis #socialmediacrisis #socialmedia #digitalmarketing #socialmarketing #strategy #influencers #communication #pr #media #ideation #creation #content #planning #culture Snapchat Snap Inc. advertising marketing social media community management brand millennials authenticity Spectacles Wearables customer customer service Paid Media Podcasts Content Sponsored Ads Content Marketing #content #marketing #media #analytics #digitalmarketing #ideation #creation #production DecisionIQ strategy big data personalization Humanizeit Facebook Facebook Live Video Instagram Stories ftc guidelines social influencer social influencers social media influencers social media broadcasting live video Processing prototype prototyping user experience ux technology programming coding java ideas design visual arts mix reality mixed realities data tutorial sketch Twitter Carousel Ads Ad Exchange Programmatic FBX Disney virtual reality projection mapping RFID Tumblr Voice Tone Axure wireframing UX software collaboration Measuring Usability UX Best Practices Designing User Journeys Stop counting clicks Designing for completion Designing for satisfaction Dieter Ram and User Experience Less is more Less but better Influencer Marketing learnability user interface user-created content gaming maker editor Super Mario Maker Nintendo digital media chat bots messaging mobile applications automation F8 Mark Zuckerberg Business F8 Conference Email office agency communication Slack Facebook at Work meetings productivity Wearable tech Healthcare Experience Patient Experience Service Design Strategy Creative Moxie VR Six Flags Six Flags Over Georgia theme parks Samsung Samsung Gear Samsung Galaxy VR headset Oculus Rift Playstation VR roller coasters Dare Devil Drive Websites Web dev development digital reactions emotion analytics dislike social metrics clicks Brands Consumers CPG Retail Consumer Marketing Consumer Insights Super Bowl Commercials Football Cultural Phenomenon Game adtech martec auto-responders automated marketing Experience Design Interaction Design Ecosystem iOS Healthkit Ad blocking Forbes Condé Nast GQ interactive media ad-light hashtags hashflags audience visual emojis campaign management 1-to-1 marketing omnichannel CES CES 2016 Oculus Sony PlayStation uSens HTC special mapping hand tracking games PetBot WonderWoof BowTie Pets OTT digital distribution Netflix Reed Hastings on-demand #yearahead #2016 #newyear #2016predictions #digitalstrategy #modernism user-generated content UGC Consumer Connection Integrated Marketing Manufacturers Accessibility usability engagement rate disability awareness creative process creativity fail fast hiring ideas imperfectionist perfectionist personnel progress test and learn fast casual restaurants social media campaigns QSR social strategies in-store promotions in-store social media promotions successful social media campaigns Logos Typography Branding #CPG #Retail #ConsumerInsights #CRM #ConsumerDirect #Seamless #OmniChannel #MoxieMakers #frontierism #intelligence #architecture insight moments Unit3C FutureX lab innovation open house Q&A UnitFilms 48in48 General Assembly Non-Profit Ponce City Market Branded design technical design style guide wireframes brand guidelines Consumer Products Interactive Marketing GIF social campaign modern marketing Cannes Lions new media pop culture meme Web Accessibility QA media media buying mobile apps targeting wires Advertisers Apple Store EasyPay self-checkout app mobile payment Sporting Events Sitecore CMS delivery Content Marketing Strategy Brand Content Marketing Content Strategy Brand Content Strategy Social Content Strategy Cannes humanity what3words life saving dot Agency Partnership Agency Relationship Competitive Review Millennial Marketers email marketing omni-channel digital marketing esp email service provider process WCAG 2016 Planning Connected Omni AR Commerce Social Innovation Create Content Strategy OMMA MediaPost Internet Week TV & Video Media Planners Creative Conundrum real-time scalability Customization smartphone loyalty advocacy live streaming content democracy Open Source Node.js Cheerio Handlebars Hyperquext MongoDB Atlassian Stash PhantomJS Shopping On-demand economy Sharing economy Everything on demand Instant delivery iPhone App Amazon Now Build Automation DevOps Native Advertising Machina Forrester SXSW Machine Learning Data Streams Web search results Data Platforms ROI Instagram Purchase Behavior Like Content Consumer Channel Role and Purpose ExactTarget Salesforce Cloud Responsys Oracle Silverpop IBM Agency Culture Innovation and Technology Client Relationships Platform Partnerships Ever-evolving Digital Age geo-fencing tablet Android second-screen Austin FOMO Meerkat scaleable vector graphics Flash animation interactivity code browsers uber-savvy consumers integrated digital-connectedness Valentine's Über Bloom that Open Table Waze marketing research google music art sports illustration sculpture food green entertainment movies photography real time marketing cheat sheet smart homes vine print 3d printing street art painting fashion influencer movie billboard outdoor mobile wallet toys film halloween history space films cars anniversary


Error: All fields are required.