August 17, 2012
(Editor's Note: Philadelphia area sports writer Ben Horrow contributes weekly to Authentically Speaking.)
By Ben Horrow
Men dominate professional sports. Men comprise the athletes who play in professional sports leagues, they govern most of the behind-the-scenes activities, and most importantly, most consumers of sports are male.
These are generalizations that cannot be overlooked, but in no way does acknowledging this one-sidedness imply that women do not play an ever-growing and serious role in the world of professional sports.
The National Football League, the largest and most lucrative professional sport in the United States, does not dispute or ignore the idea that women are fans of football. The league quickly understood that both sexes were potential consumers of NFL products.
In response, in 2011, the NFL announced the production and promotion of women’s lines of jerseys, t-shirts, hats, and other apparel. They attempted to produce different colors, fabrics styles, cuts, and other aspects of apparel that flattered their female consumers.
Also in 2011, a poll was conducted to find out which player’s jerseys women wore most. Not surprisingly, the football team’s with huge overall fan bases and storied traditions found themselves on this list. Troy Polamalu, the Steelers’ Safety, found himself on the top of the list, but by holding three out of ten spots, the Dallas Cowboys combined sold the most jerseys to women.
Now, the NFL is once again promoting towards it’s female fans. Their latest advertisement features a number of successful and famous women wearing different gear, many supporting their favorite teams.
They include, former Secretary of State Condalizza Rice, Summer Sanders, Melania Trump, and D.J. Kiss. The women featured in this campaign range from younger to older and represent the gamut of races. They show off different styles and do so fairly tastefully.
Major League Baseball, with the help of actress Alyssa Milano, also launched campaigns to attract female customers, but no league has the potential to affect this group of fans like the NFL.
Authentic Store Buzz: Please check out the new ‘FRANK’S PICKS’ and ‘CREATIVEPLAYER$’ tabs on the website. Frank Knuckles of Philly’s legendary band The Roots now regulars on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has been a member of the PLA team from day one.
A long time avid sports fan, Frank is also known for his taste in fashion and he will regularly present his personal selections of apparel. One of the first items is a Creative Player$ Phillies X Kente custom strap-back hat (pictured above).
Authentically Speaking Trivia Time: What year did the Los Angeles Lakers switch from blue and white uniforms to their current “Forum Blue” purple and gold uniforms? Answer on Monday.
Thursday’s answer: The Edmonton Oilers wore this patch to mark their 25th anniversary during the 2003-04 NHL season.