According to the National Football League (NFL) figures, 45% of its television audience is made up of women. Officials say women make up 45% of baseball’s television audience and 43% of its attendance. NBA officials estimate 40% of their attendance and television audiences made up of women. More women than ever are attending NBA games. Bill Sutton, a marketing consultant for the Cleveland Cavaliers and other NBA teams indicated “the number of female fans is increasing, and the number of games they’re attending is increasing.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the more aggressive clubs in targeting women customers. The result has been a 10% growth in female attendance over the past 2 years. According to JohnCimperman, the Cavaliers director of marketing, “all research shows females are attracted to NBA basketball, sowed might as well take advantage of that and market to them”. The league promotes itself as family entertainment to attract women and children.
Their efforts are directed at attracting everyone, but the growth areas proportionately are with females and kids.
Nearly every study available to marketers projects there is more female fans where the present ones came from. This could translate into an expanded market segment for sponsors interested in utilizing the professional sports platform. As an example, female involvement in golf increased from 30% to 37% from 1980 to 1989. This is important to note because an increase in participants typically creates an increase in spectators.
The results of a study concerning female spectators at professional golf events indicated the need for specific marketing. Nike’s award-winning women’s print campaign used an emotional appeal to tell women they can be athletes, with thought-provoking questions and ads picturing women as regular sports participants. Nike admitted the Jazzercise move may appear to be a new marketing direction, but has insisted that the relationship was developed to add to, not change their appeal to women.