If sports brands and teams want to win their licensing game, market to the female fan. And with the start of the baseball season, you can see the growing evidence that MLB teams are taking notice of the value a women’s touch can bring.
Female sports fans are growing in numbers, which equates to a growth in related products being bought by those fans. Adding women to your fan base means greater attendance (in person and TV viewership), which equals more revenue, ultimately resulting in increased brand value. This, in our score book, is considered a win.
MLB teams are catching on, and many are promoting “Ladies Night” events this season. As it is, according to a recent ESPN Sports Poll, baseball’s total fan base is comprised of 46% women. Considering the number of moms we see cheering on their kids at Little League games, more women have become fans of the sport as they become knowledgeable in the sport themselves.
Ladies Nights can easily be turned into a Moms Night Out as youth baseball moms can commiserate about snack bar duty, kids playing time or lack of, costs of travel ball (and why can’t we travel to Hawaii), and dads trying to relive their youth through their sons or daughters. (Can you tell we have been there?) But during all of this female bonding at the ballpark, there is the underlying desire to buy local team merchandise.
We can generally all agree that the mainstream fashion industry relies heavily on the female consumer. Assuming that fact, it is understandable that the women’s “sports fashion” industry is hurriedly running to get to home base. The play is already in evidence by taking a quick glance through the MLB web store. The MLB has co-branded with female-friendly names such as: Hello Kitty, Dooney & Burke, Alyssa Milano’s Touch, and Victoria’s Secret. For Mother’s Day, you can order a special pink bat.
Speaking of Mother’s Day, the MLB is promoting a “Go to Bat Against Breast Cancer” Honorary Bat Girl experience. The lucky bat girl for each team will be recognized on Mother’s Day (or another home game). Plus, they get that valuable pink bat. Moms will be proud of their kiddos getting on the major league field, no matter how they get there. And we think any mom is pretty special if they want to spend Mother’s Day at the ballpark.
Since 50% of girls have played baseball or softball at some point in their youth, the growing population of female baseball fans, or sports fans in general, is not a group to be overlooked. In 2014, a Scarborough survey reported that 14.2 million adult women attended MLB games — that’s 14.2 million potential MLB consumers. That’s not a player any brand wants to forget is up to bat.
As we write, the female half of this team is comfortably wearing one of her many San Diego Padres ladies cut tees, which she is wearing to her son’s high school baseball game. And with the young successful prospects on the current Padres team, it’s time to hit Petco Park to grab more merchandise. See you at the ballpark!