As a female sports fan I would like to believe that in 2011 sports teams, leagues and companies recognize they have a very large female following and they would do their best to market not only to men, but to the knowledgeable female base as well. Within the past few months I have been led to believe the opposite.
As baseball fans we all know about the “Fan Cave” and that on Opening Day they had a Victoria Secret model answering fans baseball questions. Yes, this was to cross promote with the VS Pink/MLB line of clothing. However, this and the idea of the Fan Cave…or Man Cave if you will, caused an uproar amongst female baseball fans almost everywhere. Caryn over at Metsgrrl.com wrote a great piece before the season started about the Fan Cave as did many other female bloggers.
Last month I received an email from Steiner Sports, more specifically from the owner of Steiner Sports, Brandon Steiner. The email was promoting meeting the Manning brothers, Eli and Peyton for charity. Mr. Steiner was having a fundraiser for a girls home. Part of the email read:
Imagine giving this gift to your son, your nephew, your grandson, or just someone you care about….
As a football fan I thought, why does this have to be a gift for only males? In my disgust I wrote the following correspondence to Mr. Steiner:
As a female sports fan I am disheartened by the email I just received. Why does this gift have to only be focused on being for a son, nephew or grandson? I am a football fan, more specifically I am a Giants fan. While I cannot afford to donate to your fundraiser, I am disgusted that it seems you think only males will appreciate this opportunity. I am a Yankees season ticket holder, the account is in my name…not a male’s. I have
purchased from Steiner for ME, not only for my dad or my brother or a male friend.
Your fundraiser is for a GIRLS home…yet you only think only males would enjoy meeting Peyton or Eli? I would appreciate if you somehow acknowledged that your email below was extremely short sighted.
Shortly after I sent the email I received an email from an employee of Steiner Sports with an apology from Mr. Steiner and an invitation to the signing, which unfortunately I cannot attend.
Most recently, as I was checking my email this morning, I read my daily media industry e-newsletter from Cynopsis.com. Under “Sponsorship & Promotion” header was:
SportsNet New York is undergoing a rebrand, and launching a new series of ads under the banner “More Sports. More Testosterone.” The concept was conceived by Ogilvy & Mather New York to promote the networks extensive coverage of the total New York sports scene and features a series of ads that depict the positive impact watching sports has on a man’s testosterone levels. One ad focuses on how it has a positive impact on a man’s libido while another hones in on muscle development. The channel’s previous campaign touted “NY NY Sports Sports.”
I read this a few times to make sure I was reading it correctly and then thought, and tweeted, “Are you kidding me?!” after the new tagline. As a Yankees fan I admit, I rarely watch SNY, but in the times that I have, I have only once seen a woman on camera representing the network and that’s for their show “Beer Money”. So of course SNY would think that only guys watch sports right? Notice to SNY: You are wrong!
I know that it is thanks to my father and grandfathers, not my mom or my grandmothers, that I am the sports fan I am today. Also thanks to my dad and grandfathers I know how to read a fly ball, know that the 1927 Yankees is the best team in the history of baseball, know what icing the puck means and I don’t ask “what inning is it?” at a hockey game… side-note: a girl actually asked me that at my brother’s high school ice game and it is still a joke between my dad and I 20 years later.
However, if the day ever comes that I have a daughter, I will be the one to teach her the things I know about sports.
There are teams and leagues that have embraced their female fans as a knowledgeable base and not just pink wearing, I’m going to the game with my boyfriend/husband/guy or sports groupies. It’s time for all sports entities to acknowledge that there is a large fan base of women that will only wear their team colors, that don’t want rhinestones and hearts on their sports clothing and most importantly….know more about what is going on on the playing surface than many men.