‘Who Says Football Isn’t Pretty?’ Asks NFL
For years, the apparel industry has been criticized for taking
it and shrink it" approach when designing apparel for active women or
sports fans — essentially making smaller sizes and just coloring it pink.
But then they were equally criticized for leaving women with only tomboy looks
or left to wear smaller sizes of men’s player jerseys.
In response, the National
Football League last year delivered its most-comprehensive sporty yet fashionable
women’s collection. Showcased last fall in its first dedicated campaign to
apparel for women, "Fit for You," the stylish
looks include off-the-shoulder tops, capri pants, vintage T-shirts and boot-cut
jeans. But beyond some edgier looks, the collection’s overall push was to showcase
a better use of fabrics, colors, and silhouettes that flatter women of all
ages and sizes.
The new look is epitomized by the success
of the Touch collection from the actress Alyssa Milano. First launched in 2008,
the collection features animal print T-shirts, fleece sweatshirts, fitted jerseys
"When I look at what women are wearing now, they are trying to be fashionable
and yet show they are fit," Mark
Waller, the chief marketing officer for the NFL, told the New York Times.
The campaign aims for women ages 20 to 40 who are active, family-oriented and
casual or avid fans of football. The NFL said women represent more than 40
percent of its fan base.
The overall NFL collection also includes flip flops, jewelry,
scarves, maternity clothing, nail polish kits, yoga mats, watches and purses.
launch was supported with an extensive ad campaign illustrating the new approach.
Print ads that ran in Shape, InStyle and People featured
headlines like, "Who Says Football Isn’t Pretty?" "This
Ain’t Your Daddy’s NFL Wear," and "Finally. Love Your Team Without
Looking Like You’re on It."
- Suiting Up in Jerseys Suitable for Women – The New York Times
- NFL Tackles Tough Challenge of Women’s Apparel – Bizmology
- First NFL Shop For Women To Open Part Time In New Orleans – Sports
- NFL Announces Women’s Apparel "Fit For You" Campaign – MediaBistro
Discussion Questions: What do you think of the NFL’s fashionable approach to women? Does it offer lessons for others trying to reach female consumers that have traditionally marketed to men?