NFL Finally Zeroes in on This Major Missed Opportunity for Sales
“We want the NFL and its shield to represent a lifestyle, not just a one day a week allegiance,” explains Rhiannon Madden, VP of Consumer Products at the NFL. She’s talking about making team logos a fixture in our wardrobes. Gone are the days when you’re only supposed to wear your jersey on Sundays – if the NFL has it their way, consumers will be representing their favorite team anytime they want.
The sudden focus on apparel is a result of a shocking realization: there is a fan base 84 million people strong, and nobody is tapping into it from a commercial standpoint.
Women. That’s right, girls like football too… and wouldn’t mind a shirt that actually fits to support their team. “From pop-up clothing boutiques and ‘style lounges’ at stadiums, to female targeted print and television advertising… the leagues investment into targeting females has been considerable over the last few years” quips Jason Belzer, Sports Business contributor at Forbes.
The organization, who’re expected to rake in $13 billion in revenue this season, are also taking advantage of a few significant shifts in the apparel market.
You can thank celebrities like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus for turning heels and a football jersey into a fashion statement. Right now, Street Style is taking over the industry. The trend encourages high end pieces to be paired with vintage and more casual stuff like sportswear.
Athleisure is a booming designer trend that’s basically wearing gym clothes not for working out but because they look good. It’s every sportswear company’s dream come true – especially since experts estimate that this category will represent $83 billion in sales by 2020.
As a result, the NFL has begun expanding their merchandise to include more of what women want – fitted tees, varied necklines, more variety. Through partnerships with apparel heavyweights like Levi’s and Tommy Bahama, they’ve also begun expanding their reach, selling products in retailers that aren’t generally associated with sportswear.
“Expansion of its off-field product is as much a vehicle for attracting fans to the game itself as the game is for selling more merchandise” Belzer concludes.
*Images courtesy of Splash