How the NFL Woos Female Fans

I had to share this article with you, and my favorite quote of course: “The glamorous yet tough imagery is part of deliberate move away from the traditional “pink it and shrink it” approach to women’s apparel.” I don’t know about you, but thank goodness!! I don’t want  pink and I don’t want a baby doll tee!!


Full article 

Readers of Marie Claire found an extra 16 pages in their September issue this year courtesy of the NFL. The insert, titled “The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Football,” came sandwiched between a Q&A with pop singer Natalia Kills and an ode to the leopard print. Along with five full-page ads for apparel from the NFL’s women’s collection, it included party hosting advice (oven-roasted kale as a chili topping), $685 high-tops to pair with a Tom Brady jersey, and a primer on football terminology (“Wide receiver: Catches the ball thrown by the quarterback”).

The insert, produced by Marie Claire’s editorial staff, is part of the NFL’s ongoing effort to expand its marketing to female fans. “About four years ago, there was a push, recognizing how many women fans we have, that we need to speak to them,” says Jaime Weston, the league’s vice president for brand and creative. “And while they follow the game like every other fan, like our male fans, they do want to be spoken to in a little bit different way.”

The push for female fans includes print advertising buys, a new series of TV spots that will run during games starting this week, expanded merchandise offerings, and pop-up clothing boutiques at stadiums. With every campaign and product, the league seeks to target women without condescending to them. “That’s something that we really, really try never to do, never to patronize,” says Rhiannon Madden, the NFL’s director of consumer products. (She’s not related to the coach-turned-commentator, although she says she’s been asked that “at least once a day for the past 11 years.”) “The Marie Claire article wasn’t at all condescending. It was, ‘You know the X’s and O’s. Football is coming up. Let’s get excited.’”

The tagline for both the print and TV ads is “Together We Make Football.” The first TV spot shows a series of women in NFL jerseys out there grabbing life by the horns—skateboarding, dancing, carrying briefcases and babies, riding bikes through New York City, fire eating, and flexing—all set to a coach’s pep talk. The glamorous yet tough imagery is part of deliberate move away from the traditional “pink it and shrink it” approach to women’s apparel.

The emphasis now is on replica jerseys identical to the men’s, except for the cut, and NFL-branded clothes for settings other than a sports bar, plus accessories such as “fanicure” nail polish sets. “It’s definitely not a lady’s version of the men’s product,” says Madden, “It’s made for women, to fit women, for women to feel good in.” For the second year, the league is showcasing its women’s gear at pop-up shops, or “style lounges,” at select stadiums on game days. “Essentially we take their product and we build out a boutique,” says Madden. “There are fitting rooms. We do manicures. There is a DJ.”

In addition to clothing, the league offers a fast-proliferating menu of branded merchandise that includes toasters, wine bottle holders, salt-and-pepper shakers, cheese boards, and other paraphernalia for what it calls “homegating.” The idea is to reach fans who come to the NFL indirectly through the gatherings that Sunday games inspire, a group that skews female.

The league counts 185 million Americans as fans, based on ESPN (DIS) polls of those who self-identify as interested in the sport. (That’s nearly 60 percent of the U.S. population.) Of those, says Peter O’Reilly, the league’s vice president for fan strategy and marketing, about 45 percent are women. The more important distinction for the league, however, is between avid and casual. The divide, says O’Reilly, is roughly down the middle. Among the avid half, a third are women. And a slight majority of the casual fans are women.

Reaching these casual, mostly female fans is part of the league’s strategy to broaden an already massive base. They are on the NFL’s target list, says O’Reilly, along with youth and Hispanics. These demographics offer room for growth as the league approaches saturation among its base. While its 90-plus million avid fans are probably near their limits in time and money spent, sales of women’s apparel, the NFL reports, have tripled in the past four years.

2013 NFL Stadium Bag Rule-Steelers

I’m sure as you’ve read by now the NFL has implemented a new bag policy for the 2013 season as a way to make more money keep us safe. 

Well call me crazy, but I don’t find this fashionable. So I wanted to provide some fashionable alternatives that will still allow you to enter Heinz Field this fall! 


Dona Jo Fitwear-Be Exclusive, Active & Fun!

I had the pleasure of meeting with Ashley, the designer behind Dona Jo Fitwear. The company that is changing how we do fitwear! Fashionably!! 

While I browsed the latest and greatest pieces, Ashley answered some questions for me! 

What was the inspiration behind starting the brand? 
My inspiration came from me not being able to find what I loved about Brazilian workout apparel…colors, prints and textures! My husband, Raphael, is from Brazil and we started brainstorming on how we could bring fitness apparel to life in the US. I wanted to do away with the black pants and black tank top look. But…we couldn’t just bring the existing fitness apparel from Brazil, we had to modify the design, lines, and quality to fit the American standards. 

Did you ever think one day you’d be running a clothing company ?
I never thought in a million years I would be running a clothing company. I always loved clothes, I mean what girl doesn’t! But, I didn’t go to school for fashion design or merchandising. The only retail experience I had before starting my line was CAbi…home party direct selling company. I think there was a reason I did that, to prep me for selling my own line. Before doing this, I worked in Marketing at a direct mail company in Freedom, PA for two years.  

Do you consider yourself a stylish person? 
I am way more fashionable at the gym. I think its because I am more comfortable there! I am fashionable in everyday life too, just not SO fashionable if you know what I mean. 

Who do you consider your style icon? 
I don’t really have a style icon. I love boho chic so anything like that is so me. I love Rachel Zoe so her style is so me in everyday life. 

What is your dream/goal of the company? 
 My dream/goal for the company is to help empower women to feel sexy and confident while doing physical activity of any kind. Really, we shouldn’t be looking frumpy at the gym in our boyfriend’s old t-shirt and gym shorts. Yea, you may think you look slim in black but your just covering your body. Express yourself! 

I love the goal Ashley has for her company!! Feel empowered, be colorful and happy! :)
Follow Dona Jo: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

Cuce Shoes!

Have you heard of Cuce shoes? I’ve been following them for quite some time now, and I’m excited to finally be posting about them!

Now I have to admit I would not wear alllll of the pieces that they carry, but there are a lot of cute options! Especially for us folks on the East Coast, who doesn’t want warm furry boots for those snowy games?

I’d also totally layer this adorable shirt in the winter and wear it by itself in the Spring! 
Tell me, what would you wear? :)