It’s fair to say that women primarily drive demand for fashion. Therefore most people might not consider football a significant force in apparel trends. They’re wrong. Refinery29, an independent fashion and style website (www.refinery29.com), blogged about the misconception earlier this year, pointing out that women make up 44% of college football fans and when it comes to female viewership, “among women ages 18 to 24, Sunday Night Football has won out over Dancing With The Stars, Glee and Grey’s Anatomy.” Add to that the NFL is actively courting female fans. There is an audience ready to wear football-inspired clothing, particularly if it showcases a man or woman’s favorite team logo.
The promotional apparel industry has taken note. A quick search on ESP and you’ve found over 500 options designed for the female audience alone. From jerseys and shorts to accessories such as bags and sunglasses, there are choices that tap into the game-minded audience – and that doesn’t count unisex styles.
For example, new this year is the unisex poly mesh football jersey (H418) from American Apparel (asi/35297). “We added the football jersey to the collection since sportswear is in such high demand right now,” says Yvette Corona, spokesperson for American Apparel. The Sport-Tek brand from San-Mar (asi/84863) also brings female-focused options. Its new PosiCharge (a colorfast performance feature) replica jerseys (ST307 and LST307) deliver football-inspired companion styles for men and women. “The Sport-Tek brand is about the power of teams,” says Lee Strom, senior marketing manager at SanMar. “It’s a brand built specifically for this industry, so it targets the needs of schools, communities and groups of all kinds who support their athletes and the fans who cheer them on.”