Jane Welcomes Bob Bly to Blogging
It's a Mom, Mom World Out There

Playing Ball with Jane and Friends

Women and sports. Jane would like all readers to embrace that vision. Women in sports. Women playing sports. Women engaged in non-traditional sports. Sporting women. Get used to it...we're venturing into games our parents would never have dreamed they would see their daughters participate in. Games of chance...but, not in casinos. On the ballfield, in the boxing arena, on the sand, and so many other places. We need look no further than Laila, Muhammed Ali's daughter and her foray into his world, or Annika Sorenstam, who showed her mettle in the Skins game this past weekend.Annika2

But, let's look into this phenomena...women playing ball. Here are this week's Fit by Five stats on women in sports taken from the Business Women's Network and from the Women's Sports & Fitness Facts and Statistics:

1. Women's sports apparel was a $23billion market in 2000.

2. Women comprise 73% of aerobic exercisers, and represent 63%, 54%, 54% of participants of exercise walking, exercising equipment and work out at clubs, repectively.

3. Women purchased 46% of official NFL merchandise in 2001. (Women's Sports  Foundation, 2003)

4. Women's athletic footwear sales have been up 37% since 1992, vs. 5% for men.

5. Women comprise 75% of the membership base in The American Quarter Horse Association, the largest breed association in the world with more than 3.7 million horses and 318,000 members. (Melpomene Journal, Summer 2000, Vol 19, No. 2)

The list could go on for several dozen posts, but Jane feels we have captured a fair view of women in sports today. If you sell athletic equipment or apparel, shouldn't Jane be a major focus of your marketing? If you support specific sports or sporting events, isn't it a good idea to put your message in front of Jane? If you are hoping to make more sales this holiday, sports quotes or information are two good ways to attract Jane to your website.

What's not to like about that?


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Andrea Learned

I had to put in a few additional words here, Jane, as you knew I would. ;-)

There is a study out there somewhere that actually correlated female executives with their involvement in sports (I will let you know when I locate it), so that may mean that women involved in sports are extra successful in their careers with money to spend.

Part of marketing sports equipment or apparel to women is also going to be that outreach angle of encouraging continuing sporting behavior. So many of us participated as kids, because, back then, it was a mandatory part of the curriculum. Gone are those days for kids now, and also, gone are the days where a lot of us, as adults, are making it mandatory for themselves.

So, how to stay inspired?

A huge element of marketing to women in the sporting goods industry is how those companies are involved in encouraging the sporting life. Brands and retailers should be giving women the sense that they don't just want her to buy your golf clubs or riding helmet, but you also want to help her find golfing or riding lessons. You might also give more serious thought to sponsoring a regular series of classes/workshops or events related to various sports. Outdoor Divas, (http://www.outdoordivas.com ) an independent retail store in Boulder, CO, that does it so well hosts or organizes fairly regular events aimed to inspire and motivate the women in that community.

Certainly, Boulder is known to have an already passionate sporting population, but I think there are a lot of cues to be taken from the Outdoor Diva example for sporting goods retailers who want to get their own communities psyched (and in need of more gear!)

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