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Marketers, even the best of them, can get tunnel vision. Proof? Even the mighty National Football League (NFL), one of our most powerful entertainment brands, dropped the ball when it came to addressing a large part of their audience.

For years.

A terrific article in USA Today recently pointed out that even though the NFL has had a steady, growing female audience, the league really didn’t get it for a long time. Tracey Bleczinski, NFL consumer products vice president, is quoted in the article stating: "Ten years ago, our motto was 'Shrink it and pink it.'”

This attitude continued for a long time, despite team-licensed apparel sales rising 21 times over the course of the past decade, thanks to women fans.

Result? Recovered fumble. A panoply of products are now in play catering to the NFL’s female audience: 44% of its total fan base, mind you. Product offerings run the gamut: nail polish to jewelry and jeweled clutches. Prices range from $13 to $3,200. Yoga and exercise apparel to favorite team jerseys all sized to fit the female form, in a full range of sizes from small to 2xx.

Showing that they’ve finally “gotten it,” the NFL debuted its latest women’s “fashions” in conjunction with New York’s Fashion Week. They’ve also launched a digital catalog.

Will the NFL score as a result? I’m betting it will. Big time.

  • Is your company ignoring a segment of its audience simply because you haven’t taken the time to research their wants and needs thoroughly---and address them?

  • Or are you still playing to your primary audience and just dabbling in a few offerings for smaller segments?

  • Which brands do you think are missing opportunities because they’re not addressing a key constituency: people who are actually fans of their brand?

  • Have you personally experienced a brand that didn’t pay attention to you for reasons of age group, gender, or other demographic factors?

  • Did you ever make a company aware that many consumers like you are into the brand but don’t feel as though the brand is that into you?

NFL fans (male and female) are invited to share their opinion about this. So are marketers, brand managers, and consumers who have something to say or share on the topic. All viewpoints are welcome!

Continue reading "Are You Ignoring a Segment of Your Audience?" ... Read the full article

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Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (, a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.