Pigskin, nachos, beer and ... cupcake decorating? With a newly launched site, Party Collection and expanded women's fashion line, the NFL is hoping to make "homegating" as popular as tailgating and team-name purses as widespread as jerseys.
The NFL's 79 million female fans make up 44% of its fan base, according to NFL VP-Consumer Products Tracey Bleczinski, and the organization wanted to create a community for these women.
"The idea was to turn your home into NFL headquarters," said Johanna Paretzky, licensing manager for the NFL, who directs the homegating initiative. Women who watch football "are sometimes more passionate about the food, family and planning" aspect of the game and so the league has partnered with licensees to create a collection of party products for these "homegating" events.
The party collection, branded with NFL team logos of choice, runs the gamut from cheese boards to coasters to side tables, with licensees including Boelter, Picnic Time , The Northwest Co., Tervis, Imperial, and even Mars, which has created team-branded M&Ms. For those who prefer to use their oven as a storage area, Decopac has created ready-to-buy team cupcakes sold in supermarket bakeries, and there's even an option to order pre-made party packs online.
On nfl.com/gamedayparty, expert "homegater" Tami Beitz, a professional cake designer for Cakes.com, doles out weekly party planning tips and recipes. The website is currently hosting a recipe contest through Oct. 24 and the winner will receive a 52" flat-screen HDTV, an mp3 docking station and $1,000 to spend at NFLShop.com. Other prizes will also be awarded for people who vote for their favorite recipes throughout the season.