When people talk about the impact of women in professional sports, they mention one huge concept: Marketing. Marketing to women is a tremendous source of profit for professional sports, but the impact of how women would respond recently became knowledge. However, now the marketing programs of the different professional sports, including the NFL, need to change their approach on marketing to women. Because the NFL still lacks sales to women compared to other professional sports in America, the NFL needs to change their viewpoints on the experience of women in the stadium and the variety of merchandise available for females.
When the discussion about how the United States is different from other countries comes up people are quick to say football, the American way, but more specifically the NFL. The NFL, which stands for National Football League, was birthed in 1922 after changing its name from the American Professional Football Association (NFL 2013). Since the birth of American football, fans and players raised the NFL to become the most popular sport worldwide. According to Isidore (2013), the NFL had a profit of $9.5 billion, the highest of all American professional sports. The profit, however, barely comes from sales produced by women merchandise.
“MLB [Major League Baseball] led all sports with $5 billion in retail sales in 2010, with Collegiate Licensing Company behind at $4.3 billion. The NFL lagged at about $3.3 billion,” (Dosh 2012). However, the NFL reached double-digit growth in 2011 when it pertains to women. The NFL did experience all-time highs in the 2011 season when it came to women. According to Dosh (2012), the number of American women participating in fantasy football doubles and TV rating increased from 3.7 to 3.9 in women eighteen to thirty-four years old. The NFLshop.com site and Fanatics saw double-digit growth during the playoffs in 2011 (Dosh 2012). Although the ratings and participation numbers are up in number, sales are still behind what the NFL needs them to be.
The NFL started a campaign five years ago to attract women. According to Basen (2013) the campaign was known as the Crucial Catch, where players wore pink uniform accessories and then later sold them to raise money for breast cancer awareness, and when the NFL started selling pink-shaded merchandise to women. Gaines (2013) reports,
“[F]or every $100 in pink merchandise sold, $12.50 goes to the NFL. Of that, $11.25 goes to the American Cancer Society and the NFL keeps the rest. The remaining money is then divided up by the company that makes the merchandise (37.5 percent) and the company that sells the merchandise (50.0 percent), which is often the NFL and the individual teams.”
Although the NFL has contributed a fair share of the profit with the American Cancer Society, women are debating why it took five years to expand the merchandise available to females when 37.5% of the money went to the company that makes and designs the merchandise. They also...