Women and the NFL

It is football season in the U.S. – each week brings us games and stats and each week the teams and their results get discussed in depth. But is football a game that appeals equally to the different genders? Nope – and it’s not even close. While athleticism might appeal to both genders, the genders view the game experience quite differently.

Enter the National Football League’s new campaign called “It’s My Team.” The target market for the new campaign is women; to be more exact, the estimated 85 million female football fans (more than 45% of the NFL fan base).  According to the NFL, female fans look at the whole stadium experience, not just the game itself. For teams that want to gain more female fans who actively proclaim their team alliance, they need to consider the team’s logo-apparel as well.

The new female-oriented campaign shows famous women as spokespeople for their teams, including Serena Williams for the Miami Dolphins and Condoleezza Rice for the Cleveland Browns. Advertisements for the female-oriented apparel are now appearing not just in Sports Illustrated magazine, but also in Seventeen, Vogue, and Women’s Health magazines as well.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1.  Start with a poll of students. Ask questions about football: how many are fans, how many games do they watch, what are favorite teams, how much money do they spend on football, what are viewing habits, what are the social habits of game day, etc.?
  2. Compare the answers by gender: women’s habits vs. men’s habits. In particular, see how the spending habits of men differ from the spending habits of women.
  3. What are the differences? Why are there differences?
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team examine and analyze the messages and products that are on the NFL Web site: www.nfl.com.
  5. Have student teams develop a plan to increase female interest and participation in the NFL. Consider factors such as viewing habits, stadiums, partnerships, merchandise, etc.

Source:  Brandchannel.com, 8/16/12, Associated Press, other news sources

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