Pink Is Not My Color, Sports

Sports Marketing To Women

I am not a pink person. Pink, as in, the color pink. (aka Pink-thinking)

I grew up playing sports. I come from a sports family. I was a tomboy. Back then, pink meant girly – not sporty.  I didn’t view myself as anything remotely close to being “girly”. At a certain age I did, but not as a little girl playing sports.

I had a mom, two sisters and a brother who played sports. In the case of my mom, she loved sports and supported her kids’ ventures into sports. To this day, she is a die-hard sports fan even at her advanced age (no, I’m not telling you her age). Playing football, running, shooting hoops, hitting the ball, swimming — I viewed that as a normal thing that girls did. It wasn’t a “gender” issue to me – girls sports vs boys sports. It was just sports

As I grew to become more of a sports fan rather than athlete, I didn’t view it any differently. I wasn’t a girl who was a sports fan. I was a sports fan. That’s been my thought-process for as long as I can remember. It’s in that context that I am constantly perplexed by the phrase, “marketing to the female fan” or “marketing to women”. Oh, wait! One more, “appeal to the female fan base”.

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Why do sports leagues, teams and brands feel the need to “market to women”? Will “pink” shirts really entice more women to buy their product or watch their respective sport? Much of this topic was discussed at the Sports Business Journal Game Changers’ Conference today. Several attendees were tweeting insights from the conference speakers.

That pink-thinking I mentioned…yeah…

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Labels. Why is it that sports entities feel the need to label me as a “female sports fan”? Is “pink” the only way to link me with sports? Do they really think I can be enticed by throwing out a pink jersey and associate it with a cause? Why not add a female to a key character in a commercial like this? (I like food too, Buffalo Wild Wings. I like hanging with other sports fans. I’ll share my chicken wings if necessary. Well, maybe not!)

This video from BWW is geared toward men. But, what about it is marketed toward men? 

  • 1) Food
  • 2) Beer
  • 3) Sports bar atmosphere
  • 4) Friends 
  • 5) Food & sports intertwined in the “action”
  • 6) Announcer voice
  • 7) Victory (guy gets food)

If one wanted to really market to women, why not put a woman in place of one of the guys, in a non-pink jersey? I enjoy going to a sports bar and hanging out with other sports fans. I may not yell out loud during a game but burgers, wings, nacho — I’m in!! 

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Want to know how to market “to” me? Speak my language. I’m a mom that cares about her family. I care about saving money and providing for my family. I care about paying my bills. I care about the things that matter to my kids. I care about the world around them. I care about the good in sports not being discussed enough these days.

Tell me, how do you “market to” that? 

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FINAL THOUGHTS: Every woman is different – every “female sports fan” is different. I’m at a loss when it comes to the whole notion of marketing to women. Maybe that’s because I’m not a marketer. I’m not in sales. I don’t try to influence anyone into “buying” a product, so I don’t think in those terms. Maybe if I was, I’d understand it better.

I asked a friend of mine to help clarify things. He pointed out another way of looking at the BWW commercial above – from a man’s point of view. Frankly, I didn’t see it until he pointed it out to me. 

And, maybe that’s the point. I don’t see myself like what sports brands, leagues and teams see. I just see myself as a fan.

If only they could too.

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CadChica Sports

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