Ads & The Female Fan Base

Women Are No Longer Sitting on the Sidelines of Sports Marketers' Minds

Sports marketers have replaced their shrink it and pink it methods with authentically advertising to women. Brands interested in increasing market share are looking beyond superficial marketing ploys to understand how to effectively advertise to women of all ages, especially sports fans.

Sports

Percentages of regular season TV audience:

Represents most recent year for which numbers were available from Nielsen (2013).

Not only do women regularly watch NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games, they also make up a large portion of the consumers of the products advertised during commercial breaks.

Products

Beverages

Apparel

60% of apparel purchases are made by women.

Insurance

57% of women have life insurance.

Communications

88% of women own cellphones.

Sponsors

Some companies are pushing harder to win women's spending than others. These official sponsors of the MLB, NBA, NFL and/or NHL have pivoted their marketing campaigns to appeal to women.

Beverages

Gatorade

Leagues sponsored: MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL

Gatorade features women in advertising campaigns to connect with female consumers. In 2015, Gatorade made one of its most memorable ads to date featuring a series of flashbacks from Serena Williams' career. The as builts on Gatorade's "Win from Within" tagline, asking a young Williams who she wants to be like when she grows up. Her answer? She wants people to be like her.

Anheuser-Busch

Leagues sponsored: MLB, NBA, NFL

The maker of NFL's official beer created the Bud Light Lime-A-Rita as a sweet drink in a faux cocktail package to appeal to women. Only about 30 percent of Bud Light drinkers are female, whereas they make up approximately 65 percent of those who drink Lime-A-Ritas.

MillerCoors

Leagues sponsored: NHL

MillerCoors says attracting more female customers is key to regaining the 10 percent share of the market that beer has lost to wine and hard liquor over the last decade. To winover women who do not like beer, MillerCoors has launched Henry's hard Sodas, a new line of hard sodas made with real cane sugar.

Apparel

Adidas

Leagues sponsored: NBA

Adidas is creating product lines tailored to women of specific age groups. The sportswear company introduced its Adigirl Collection in July 2015, targeting 13- to 17-year-old female athletes.

Under Armour

Leagues sponsored: MLB, NBA, NFL

In an effort to move away from its testosterone-heavy image and product mix, Under Armour launched its "I Will What I Want" campaign featuring ballet dancer Misty Copeland. Since Copeland's ad ran in July, it has garnered 10 million views on YouTube, while Under Armour's women's business has grown 60 percent year over year to $600 million.

New Era Cap Company

Leagues sponsored: MLB, NFL, NHL

New Era Cap Company unveiled a new line of Women's 59Fifty's in fall 2006 in an effort to create a product line tailored specifically to female consumers. The company took its signature cap and revamped its fit to better complement the scale of a woman's head.

Nike

Leagues sponsored: MLB, NBA, NFL

Nike, the largest retailer of women's athletic wear, launched a campaign aimed at women in April 2015 with a video at the MTV Movie Awards. The #betterforit advertising encourages women across the world to push themselves beyond their comfort zones in their fitness quests.

Insurance

Nationwide

Leagues sponsored: NFL

The insurance company selected actress and comedian Mindy Kaling as its spokesperson for its 2015 NFL championship game campaign. The ads portray how consumers may feel dissatisfied or even invisible when dealing with other insurance companies. Kaling helped broaden the brand's appeal to millennials and women.

Communications

Verizon

Leagues sponsored: NBA, NFL, NHL

Verizon targeted women with the Hub, its all-in-one broadband communication device, and sought their help in marketing the product. By conducting a survey of 265 women, Verizon determined which features of the Hub women were drawn to and then strategically heightened those features in its advertisements.

Adapting To Change

As the female fan base continues to grow, so too should advertising targeted at women. Some sponsors of major sports leagues already have pivoted their marketing efforts to appeal to female consumers, but there is much more to be done on the advertising front in order to win women's spending.

Sources:

  1. http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/30/media/suer-bowl-viral-ads?id=EL
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/02/what-super-bowl-manvertising-says-about-mens-new-role-in-america/
  3. http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/reports-downloads/2014%20Reports/year-in-sports-
  4. http://www.packagedfacts.com/Sports-nutritionals-drinks-7649808/
  5. http://www.businessinsider.com/brewers-marketing-female-friendly-beer-2014-10
  6. http://www.gallup.com/poll/163997/regular-soda-popular-young-nonwhite-low-income.aspx
  7. http://www.thefemalefactor.com/statistics/statistics_about_women.html
  8. http://insurance.about.com/od/lifeprod/a/Women-Are-Not-Buying-Enough-Life-Insurance.htm
  9. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/06/call-phone-ownership-hits-91-of-adults/
  10. http://time.com/4019937/serena-williams-gatorade-ad/
  11. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-06-26/bud-lights-margarita-in-a-can-women-love-it
  12. http://www.brewbound.com/news/millercoors-launches-henrys-hard-soda
  13. http://abancommercials.com/indexvideodetail.php?id=1702&tipo=det
  14. http://www.oregonlive.com/playbooks-profits/index.ssf/2015/08/adidas_introduces_clothing_lin.html
  15. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-ballerina-misty-copeland-stars-jaw-dropping-spot-under-armour-159235
  16. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/why-brands-are-finally-choosing-more-female-athletes-big-endorsement-deals-167007
  17. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/versus-to-reveal-hot-timepiece-trends-at-wwd-magic-show-las-vegas-august-18-20-270740481.html
  18. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/11/08/nikes-11-billion-dollar-plan-to-create-a-womens-fitness-empire/74740318/
  19. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/mindy-kalings-funny-fantasies-come-true-nationwides-super-bowl-spot-162471
  20. http://adage.com/article/news/verizon-targets-women-hub-phone-ivillage/135078/

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