The Athlete's Mom

by , Sep 12, 2012, 12:39 PM
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It has been refreshing to see so many athletic brands taking their marketing-to-women and -girls efforts seriously with the most recent brand, Louisville Slugger, launching an entire campaign (“Beautifully Powerful”) focused on its line of fast-pitch softball equipment. In most of these campaigns and strategies, the female athlete is front and center—but what about the athlete’s mom? 

According to statistics found in the book Tuning Into Mom, 60% of moms of children ages 7-12 report their child participates in sports. This number is higher than all other “mom categories” including moms of high school students (53%), where a bulk of the sport marketing efforts are targeted. “Mom involvement is increasingly common in supporting child participation in sports during the elementary school years,” writes authors Michal Clements and Teri Lucie Thompson. “Within this context of involvement, the elementary school years are the most active and the highest point of mom’s direct participation.” 

Here are tips for adding mom into the sport-focused conversation:

Safety First: When it comes to their children, safety is always a top priority—and this is especially true if their child is playing sports and even more of a factor if their child is playing a high-contact sport such as football. Don’t ignore safety risks; instead, create messaging that addresses their concerns and shows how your equipment/products/services will keep kids safe or offer a list of tips for sport safety via your website or even include them with actual products--especially those geared towards newer or younger players. 

Focus on Convenience: At this age, moms are more involved than ever in their child’s sporting events. They may take on a volunteer coaching role or serve as “Team Mom” or simply watch from the sidelines. Understand that mom’s “sport life” is really busy and anything you can do to make her life more convenient will be greatly appreciated. Set up a booth at a local sporting event where she can purchase gear and/or clothing right on site and if you want to provide a “giveaway” make sure it is something she needs such as a “sports bag” her child can use to transport equipment and snacks.

Think Holistic Benefits: Not many moms at this level of play are thinking their child is going to become a professional athlete. Most moms move into organized sports because they want their child to have the benefit of physical fitness and fun, but also because they want them to experience the overall life lessons that come from team sports such as discipline and good sportsmanship. Create a campaign that focuses on those elements of the game—show players shaking hands after a good match, practicing (even in the rain) to improve their skill or simply helping someone off the ground after a particularly tough play. 

As we find ourselves in the midst of the fall sports season, don’t forget to include mom in your athletic conversations.

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