Hey, I’m all about diversity when it comes to the fanbase. The more people we can get interested, the better the game is for everyone. Here we learn from Forbs that ten teams are increasing their focus on increasing their female fanbase.
Fast forward to today, and female sports fans make up 35% of fans in each professional sports league, according to Nielson (2014), and that stat pales in comparison to female Major League Baseball fans on social media.
Female fans have been increasing in numbers, becoming more vocal online, and Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have responded.
You do have to be very careful to promote your product in a way that appeals to the more casual female fan, but does not pander or belittle them. It’s tough to get someone into an integrate sport like baseball without coming across as talking down to someone. For their part, the Rangers seem to be well aware of that.
“We make an effort to cultivate our female fan base by hosting various special events that appeal to women. Examples include “Fields of Fashion” featuring a Q&A with player’s wives and a Rangers fashion show, wine tasting, and a Mother’s Day celebration (when our game schedule cooperates). We’ve also been fortunate to have a Women’s Club for 40 years – members of the Women’s Club are some of our most active and enthusiastic fan ambassadors.
I think it is important for all professional sports teams and leagues to understand the dynamics and intricacies of each segment of their fan base. For us that means not only hosting events geared towards women, but also being careful not to patronize our female fan base. This year we’ve hosted a Baseball 101 Class, and a Scorekeeping Class, but both events were targeted to all fans – not just women – and attendance was evenly split between male and female at both events.”
Minnesota has a interesting view of the situation
“We don’t view connecting with our female fans any differently than connecting with our male fans. We strive to create engaging content that resonates with all of our fans. Based on focus group research, our female fans are looking for many of the same things our male fans are: a sense of connection to the game, their loved ones and the community, which we strive to offer in-stadium and across our social platforms.”
So what say you, especially our female readers? Do things like Fields of Fashion offend you or are you happy you are gaining increased attention within the ranks of Baseball’s marketing divisions? I am a huge fan of the scorekeeping class, something I think would appeal to not only both genders, but the young and old alike. The other week I was at a game and saw a father teaching his son how to keep sore and it struck me as to just how rare a sight that is these days. I hope teams do more events like that to help ease newcomers to the sport, both male and female.