NFL Finally Treats Female Fans Like Grown Ups

Buffalo BillsIt's a good day to be female and a football fan. Yes, even if you're one of those Philadelphia Eagles fans crying in her cornflakes over the loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Sunday Night Football game, you have something to cheer about. The NFL has finally decided to treat the ladies like grown-ups.

For years we've had to put up with "shrink it and pink it," the term used to describe taking men's fan paraphernalia, making it a smaller size, coloring it pink, adding some glitz, then selling it as the only option for women. If it made you feel like a little girl, maybe that's because the clothes for adult women were just slightly larger versions of the options sold for their daughters. Repping our teams has meant reverting to childhood, when our moms threw pink on just so that weird guy at the post office didn't call us "sonny" again.


But now the NFL says "shrink it and pink it" is officially dead, and they're using the wives and (grown-up) daughters of team coaches and executives to make the point in a new ad campaign. They're trying to sell us on other options in NFL team stores: yoga pants, purses, and jerseys that may be cut for a woman's body but actually reflect the colors of the team we support.

Novel idea, huh? That we'd want something that actually represents the team when we go out and, um, represent the team?

All I can say is it's about damn time.

I have no problem buying my 6-year-old a sparkly pink something from the Buffalo Bills' store. But I have enough respect for myself to not dress like my 6-year-old. I'm glad the NFL is finally showing me that same respect.

To be frank, it's not like they're doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. It's simple economics. Women now make up 44 percent of the NFL's fan base. Clothing sales for women have doubled since 2004. If they want to make money, they have to make us happy. Supply must meet demand. We've got grown-up pocketbooks; we might as well have the opportunity to buy grown-up clothes with them.

Will this new focus on making fanwear for all women -- not just pink-loving ones -- make you more willing to buy?


Image via Buffalo Bills

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