How to Reach the Female Sports Fan In Your Market

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In popular culture, it’s common to see television shows where a man sits around watching football, while his wife stands around complaining.  These images that are ingrained in our cultural behavior show men drinking beer and watching the big game, with the women in the corner, cleaning up the mess.

Because of the often masculine appeal of most sports, it’s common to confuse their primary audiences with people of the same gender.  But the reality is that this is not so.

In fact, more than one half of tennis fans are female, a fact that tennis marketers appear to recognize.  Many female tennis spectators are also players (certainly plenty of our Florida advertising agency team members love to get outside for a good match!), and as such, companies continue to invest money in creating fashionable products and apparel for the female tennis enthusiast.

Others are not quite as obvious.

For example, NFL games are dominated by male-leaning television commercials and sports coverage.  However, more than a third of the people who identify themselves as football fans are female.  As such, there seems to be a disconnect between the methods of sports advertising and this demographic.

It’s important to remember that, from an ROI perspective, women account for 85% of all purchases in all categories, including automotive purchases, apparel, household goods, and food purchases.
 Being able to hone in on the potential female customer can greatly increase the opportunity for successful commercial advertising during primetime sports slots, increased awareness through sponsorship activities and for cultivating ongoing relationships with the female sports enthusiast.

A common misconception is that women who are sports fans are also somehow tomboys, and that, if given the choice, they would choose hoodies bearing their teams’ logos instead of cute sundresses that show the same logo.  There aren’t many companies that have successfully tested this theory, but a sports apparel company catering to creating high fashion lines for females might actually do quite well!  But, leaning too much in this direction can also be polarizing;… working off the assumption that every ladies’ night at the ball game should be about pink bows and jewelry raffles can be just as belittling.

As with most categorizations, classifying a group as “women” is just one categorization of a number of broader subsets of personalities and interests.  It’s important for sports franchise marketers and sports brands to think creatively when trying to reach the female target consumer.

Perhaps the number one marketing sin is forgetting that she exists.  Alienating the female sports fan by creating ads that are masculine-learning or blatantly sexist effectively costs sports marketers revenue and goodwill in the eyes of the female consumer.

Instead, sports marketers should take heed of some useful advice to help market to the female sports fan.

Develop Audience Insights: Using social media listening tools, sports marketers can garner significant data about their female consumers.  Are they using Pinterest, or are they more Twitter-friendly?  These insights can help sports marketers craft campaigns that offer maximum exposure.

Develop Products Designed for the Female Sports Fan: Thinking outside the box to create products such as colorful iPhone sleeves bearing a team’s logo can help the female sports fan to express herself, while also giving her something that offers practicality and functionality.

Encourage Engagement: An article published on The Next Web last year noted that women are “more likely” to make your social media campaign go viral.  Make the most of your female fans by encouraging them to share.

For more ideas on how to reach women in sports, contact our Florida marketing agency for a consultation, and learn how we’ve helped numerous entertainment businesses grow through integrated marketing efforts.

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