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Expanded Merch Offering Pays Off For The NFL

Up until recently, the NFL was missing out on some major moolah from a very significant demographic - women. Last year, right before Super Bowl

Up until recently, the NFL was missing out on some major moolah from a very significant demographic – women. Last year, right before Super Bowl 50, the NFL debuted a collection of women’s apparel at an event tagged the NFL Style Showdown. Majestic, Nike and 47 Brand were just a few of the major players to be included in the collection. Despite the NFL’s many critiques surrounding the exclusion of women, the event appears to have paid off for the league, as Forbes reported, thanks in part to a growing female fanbase (about 84 million), the NFL is set to rake in more than $13 billion in revenue by the end of the season.

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The largest contributors to that figure are licensed consumer goods, specifically apparel, and accessories. The push for female dollars was ushered in by massive campaign featuring the who’s who in “girl power”, from the celebrity, athletic, and political landscape.

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“Our expanded product lines for apparel and other consumer packaged goods has never been about slapping the league or team brands on as many rodents as possible,” Rhiannon Madden, vice president of consumer products for the NFL, told Forbes. “Our approach has always been strategic in the sense of incremental improvement—we want the NFL and its shield to represent a lifestyle, not just a one-day-a-week allegiance. Every year, our product offering gets a little better, more sophisticated and more reflective of our fans’ habits and interests. Our goal has always been about allowing our fans to feel as comfortable wearing our products as they would any other brand.”

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As word of the NFL’s immense success spreads, we could see a drastic pivot made by sports leagues and private associations to move away from only selling game-ready jerseys and in turn focus on fast fashion items with the team’s logo as a branding agent, rather than just a logo on a hat or jersey.

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