Five months out of a year seems like a lot of time to some, but to National Football League fans, it’s really nothing. Throw in pre-season games and the pro-bowl, and football fanatics invest roughly a half year with the NFL. From attending early Sunday service to having pizza and Buffalo wings for dinner, fans re-organize their lives to accommodate the NFL schedule. And, unlike decades ago, fans no longer comprise mostly males.
According to The Nielsen Company, more American women watch the NFL than any other team sport, and not just the Super Bowl. In the regular season, the NFL knocked out Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association in having the highest percentage of female viewers. Moreover, watching football has become a welcomed social event, with people watching in groups of varying gender composition. Resultantly, the percentage of female football viewers has grown from 32.6% in 2006 to 33.6% in 2010. Though this percentage may seem insignificant, it’s a big deal to the NFL.
In fact, Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s VP for Brand Strategy and Marketing, noted the “fan base has been pretty darn significant on the female side for a while, and it’s continuing to grow,” adding, the league is working to “debunk the stereotype” that women are not football fans. Selecting female singers, such as Taylor Swift, who performed during a pregame season opener is just one example.
Advertisers are catering to women, as well, realizing that many women are purchasing decision-makers for their households. It’s not just chips, beer, and car commercials anymore. Have you seen the commercial where a football-jersey-wearing-woman “febrezes” her living room after guests leave the football party hosted at her house?
From pocketbooks to hats, and jewels to shoes; women can now buy chic, cool, and classy fan items, including apparel that shows off their curves and is not fit for a king. Alyssa Milano’s clothing line, “Touch,” has the actress sporting football gear and remarking, “Finally. Love Your Team Without Looking Like You’re On It.” There’s also the team maternity shirts with matching infant onesies with cute sayings such as, “Mom’s Tiny Kicker.” Moreover, and honorably, the campaign to benefit breast cancer charities enables fans—male and female—to wear all shades of pink. And NFL players respectably sport their pink gear, as well.
Furthermore, once dominated fantasy football leagues now have a growing trend of women who place proper picks and score big with their pseudo-football teams.
Basically, no matter how the ball is thrown, female football fans are great catchers who won’t be put “offsides” or left “holding.” Those who enjoy the frenzy are not just watching because they have nothing better to do. Women are not just sitting on the sidelines. They thoroughly understand the game and equally enjoy the tackles, touchdowns, and talk just as much (if not more) as their male counterparts.
NFL chicks recently tookover the “Trending with EZ”* talk radio show. The September 4 show featured female panelists who are quite passionate and intelligent about football. They included co-founders of GridIronGals.com, @TheNFLChick and @PigsknLvngLady, and sports talk radio host, @MissMorgyn.
The 2011 NFL season starts Thursday, September 8. If you’re a member of the crew who could care less about flags, fumbles, field goals, and other football fury, you do have options. You can always:
- Read a book.
- Enjoy a movie.
- Start a new hobby.
- Review and respond to emails.
- Explore a new recipe.
- Handwrite a letter to be mailed. (What a concept)!
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Play Pokeno, Bingo, board games, and cards.
- Check on your family, friends, and neighbors.
- Organize, strategize, and energize.
- Hope to find someone not enjoying the game to hang with. (Good luck with this one).
Or, perhaps you could just try to enjoy the game of football. Doing so could enable you to:
- Bond with someone who loves the game.
- Hang out and see folks in a different light.
- Enjoy good grub and beverages.
- Engage in great football conversation.
- Appreciate athleticism.
- Host football parties.
So…The question remains….”Are you ready for some football?”
*”Trending with EZ” airs Sundays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on NewsTalk Radio, WOL 1450 AM (“Where Information is Power”). Listen online at WOLDCNews.com.