The U.S. Women’s Soccer team’s World Cup win scored more than just a title and a trophy. The event drew more than 25 million viewers, the largest television viewership of any soccer game in U.S. history and, within 24 hours of their victory, sales of “World Champion” t-shirts and other licensed merchandise surged 3,000%.
But more remarkable was where the sales were coming from—according to Fanatics.com, the largest online retailer of licensed sports merchandise, 65% of all sales for the American team’s merchandise came from mobile devices, including 50% from smartphones. According to a New York Times article, the online retailer said this was the second-most-popular event for mobile shopping on the site, behind Duke’s college basketball title in April.
These events provide insight into two key trends—marketing to female sports fans and the consumers’ growing comfort in shopping from their mobile devices, particularly when buyers are excited and in-the-moment.
The Sports Marketing Industry: Breaking Down Stereotypes
Historically, the majority of sports marketing has been targeted at men—but that’s changing. Sports brands such as Nike, Under Armor, and Adidas created women’s sports apparel that appeals to the fitness-minded woman and use empowering, stereotype-busting messages in their advertising campaigns. Beyond that, professional teams are finally acknowledging female sports fans and reaching out directly to them with ticket buying offers and apparel— marketing research shows that 60% of women watch sports regularly, most often as part of a social group or family activity. Brands such as Dove and Cover Girl are starting to catch on as well and taking advantage of advertising and sponsorship opportunities. In fact, Dove’s groundbreaking “Like a Girl” ad during this year’s Super Bowl was a game changer for marketing to female sports fans. “Sports marketers walk a fine line when speaking to women, they need to reach out to them in an authentic way that advocates for women, without being pandering,” explains Andrea Van Dam, CEO of Women’s Marketing. “As participants or spectators, sports play a huge role in women’s lives.”
Women and Mobile Shopping
The sudden rush to purchase licensed soccer merchandise offers a peek into the type of shopping women like to do on their mobile devices. Although we know that women regularly research products on tablets and smartphones, sales figures on those devices have trailed desktop purchases. “What we’ve seen in this case, is that when immediacy is a factor, women will reach for their smartphones,” says Van Dam. Although she doesn’t see a complete flip to exclusively shopping on mobile, she does believe there are key opportunities for marketers to address these in-the-moment purchases through geo-targeting and other mobile technologies that reach consumers in those micro-moments.
There are opportunities for brands to engage women through every passion in their lives, and in doing so, they become part of their story. Does your brand need a winning strategy? Contact Women’s Marketing to learn how your brand can score with women.