Shout-out to Ron Patiro at our office for sharing this great blog post with me. It’s a story about women’s football clubs from our friends at Church of the Customer. In the post, Jackie Huba talks about the Baltimore Raven’s women’s fan club, “Purple”…
Purple already has 3,500 members who get inside information about the team, special offers for a new line of women’s team apparel and jewelry, a monthly newsletter, and invitations to special annual events.
For super-fans, Purple offers a $250 VIP level called the Lavender Ladies; they get special access at training camp, private autograph sessions with players and naturally, access to limited-edition merchandise.
One of the things I really like is the acknowledgment that women like to wear team apparel, too. Creating this apparel in women’s sizes, and even creating new apparel and jewelry allows women to show their team spirit without looking like they’re wearing an oversized nightshirt.
I am a life-long New York Giants fan. (OK, I’ll give you a minute to compose yourself. Get it out of your system. I’ve heard it all before.) My dad started me on it when I was a wee lass and I’ve stuck with them ever since. Give me a Giants jersey or T-shirt that’s form-fitting and attractive and I’m all over it. I have a small head, so a Giants cap in a smaller size would make me really happy.
Many teams are already creating such apparel. But take a look at how well the Ravens do it:
“Fantoo apparel blurs the line between fashion and sports,” said Carol Doroba, Head Coach of Fantoo. “Women can now show off their sports knowledge in a sexy, feminine way –- with a great-fitting tee or tank made just for them and adorned with creative graphics that send a clear message that she gets the game. We have taken care to utilize the best there is in terms of fabric and applications to create polished yet playful clothing.”
Sports teams could do even more to reach out to their female fans. They could create female fan personas [define]. Personas are useful for so many things, but a lesser known benefit is new product ideas they create.
Just look at FemmFan.com. (Yes, the Locker Room Lookers did get my attention, but that’s not the best part.) Check out this piece of insight:
Women, although avid about sports, are not nearly as intrigued by the unending statistics and scores as men are. Women want to know about the people in the uniforms, their lives, their families, and what makes them tick. Women want to view their athletic “icons” in a human way, “Up Close and Personal”.
Hmm, getting a few ideas for content for your women’s sports fan website? What else might our female sports fan persona like? Here are a few ideas:
- Team coolies, not for beer cans, but for wine glasses. (I haven’t quite worked out what it would look like, but would I love a NY Giants wrap keeping my Sauvingon Blanc cool? You bet.)
- Team visors small enough so they fit a smaller woman’s head. This is actually a problem with lots of visors; they stick up too much on a smaller woman’s forehead. I finally found one from Nike that didn’t stick up too far on my forehead, but I’d rather have my Giants logo on there than the Nike swoosh.
- Team yoga mats. I could be praticing my downward dog while appreciating my team logo. Of course, if a Dallas fan brought in a Cowboy yoga mat and sat too close to me, it could get ugly. Our sun salutations might turn into a smack-down. (Ok, maybe the yoga mat is a bad idea.)
- Scrunchies. You know, the thing you tie your hair back with. I’d love to have a NY Giants logo on my sporty pony tail.
- OK, I know this is going to sound sexist, but could we see team photos with guys with their shirts off? I know, I know… But I’m telling you, they could sell a whole lot of calendars, website downloads, whatever.
- Am I the only one who loves the United Way spots with the NFL players mentoring little kids? I’d love to know more about what individual players are doing to give back to the community. With so many players making the news for crimes rather than good deeds, it would probably be good PR for the league as well as interesting stories for the fans.
- You couldn’t do this because the men would cry foul, but wouldn’t it be great to have a female fan night at the stadium where a portion of the men’s rooms got switched over to women’s rooms so the lines to the bathroom would be shorter? I guarantee that would get NFL marketers high-fives from female fans.
Ok, some of this is practical, some… not so much. But personas allow you to view your products or services from another point of view. Not only do they provide insight, they can help generate all sorts of new ideas.
Female sports fans: What would you like to see? How could your favorite team show you some love?