Many marketers sponsor marathons, half-marathons, 10K, and 5K races. How about sponsoring 100-yard dash clubs where women come, run 100 yards then hang out with friends (or make new ones) at a post-run party.
By sponsoring such clubs, marketers will see a strong return from being associated with a positive activity. And the women who participate will be more likely to encourage their daughters to play sports.
Pushing back against sexism
According to research published by the Women’s Sports Foundation, 32% of girls report that boys make fun of them or make them feel uncomfortable when playing sports.
The real challenge for girls 11 and older is to change the perception that sports is something boys do. One way to accomplish this is to highlight all the things that boys and men now do that were previously done by women. For example, in 1982, 43% of fathers had never changed a diaper. Eighteen years later, that number decreased to 3%. If men cook, shop and change diapers, then women can and should play sports.
Sporting goods marketers can use male chefs, fashion designers, nurses, kindergarten teachers —and other roles traditionally often associated with women—talking about how anyone can enjoy sports. As well, they can highlight male athletes talking about the benefits their wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters and female friends gain from participating in sports. If Steph Curry says that it’s cool for girls to play sports, boys would listen.
Research has shown that girls who play sports in adolescence are less likely to get breast cancer and experience depression and are more likely to complete college. By increasing the percentage of women playing sports, marketers will not only grow their business but also improve women’s physical and mental health.