NFL Continues To Hone Focus On Women Merchandise Sales
From stilettos and spa slippers to nail polish and an expanded swimwear line, women’s product licensees have exploded in the past 12 months. It is all part of the league-wide strategy directed by Tracey Bleczinski, who since taking the reigns as NFL VP/Consumer Products & Apparel has put an end to “shrink it and pink it.” The league last year began the NFL Women’s Apparel: Fit For You marketing campaign, and Bleczinski noted the launch “far exceeded” expectations and that the “women’s business is our fastest growing business.” Year two of the campaign brings a revamped website, NFL.com/Women, with two new tabs featuring an online catalog where fans can get ideas for team fashion. All the women featured in the vignettes are all women associated with the NFL, including Cowboys Exec VP/Brand Management and President of Charities Charlotte Jones Anderson; Tanya Snyder, the wife of Redskins Owner Dan Snyder; Suzanne Johnson, the wife of Jets Owner Woody Johnson; and Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy's daughters Anna, Emily and Katie. There is a rivalry theme for each week of the season, updated to include a new look with hot links on the products directing fans to NFL.Shop.com. Another new feature on the website is an NFL Game Day Party tab where fans can share ideas on recipes and at-home entertaining with the intent to drive awareness for and focus on the hard goods offered. “We know that our female fans -- they want to be able to support their team in all sorts of other ways beyond just T-shirts and caps, so we’re really responding to that,” Bleczinski said. The league again teamed with Grey, N.Y., for the ad campaign and Alliance for promotional elements. The full campaign will launch Sept. 20 through TV, social media and a heavy focus on print publications including Shape, People, Cosmopolitan, SI, Vogue, InStyle and Seventeen. Bleczinski spoke more on the upcoming campaign:
Q: What new elements can we expect for the campaign this year?
Bleczinski: You are going to see a different approach for the print ads. You’ll see an expansion on that campaign, the website. This year is really about continuing to build the awareness about our products, letting our female fans know where to get the products and then also a big emphasis this year is just -- I don’t want to call it education on how to wear the product -- but it’s more just giving people ideas that you can wear your products other days of the week beyond Sundays or Mondays. It’s not just for game day.
Q: Is there one women’s product or category that hasn’t entered the licensing game yet?
Bleczinski: Core basics fitness products. I would say that is a bit of white space that we have right now that we will be filling that void in 2012 … Cosmetics, because we do have bath and body products but we haven’t gotten into cosmetics which I think could be an interesting angle.
Q: With Nike coming on as the NFL’s apparel provider next season, do you anticipate Nike bringing in a new demographic of consumers?
Bleczinski: I think that Nike will bring, I don’t want to say a new demo because I know that when you look at our demographics it’s really so widespread in terms of gender and age and all those different areas that we look at. But I do think that there is a Nike consumer that will probably come onboard a little bit more than they are now.
Some items being offered this season include a Packers Marina satchel from