It’s Never Been Just for Boys: Female Fans of NCAA Division I and Professional Sports
College and professional sports depend on fans. Female fans constitute a lucrative but often neglected demographic in the sport industry. While marketers and advertisers recognize the power of the female customer, many sport organizations marginalize female fans by virtue of omission. Given the multi-dimensional nature of the female sport fan and the growth potential of the fan base, the sport industry must pay attention. This makes good sense not only ethically and socially, but economically as well since this demographic is steadily growing while the male fan base remains stable. The current study examined consumer practices and attitudes of female fans at professional and Division I college revenue sporting events during the 2013-14 season. Over 900 female fans of NCAA Division I revenue sports (football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball), professional basketball and professional hockey were interviewed regarding both consumer choices and their perceived value as fans. Results indicate specific expressed needs and preferences of female fans. Of great interest is the preponderance of female college-sport fans who declared themselves as valued “long-time fans” compared to the relatively short-time nature of the professional sport fans. Implications for the sport industry include the importance of including female demographics in brand strategy and loyalty.
Andreason, Bret; Bauwens, Greg; Braun, Jeff; Clark, Alissa; Crane, Mandi; Goodale, Dan; Haderlie, Nate; Hardee, Jake; Haynes, Kevin; Hendershott, Rachel; Hibbard, Timothy; Johnson, Brittney; Jonas, Alishia; Lane, Rachel; Lloyd, Erica; Mataele, Tutulupeatau; McManus, Casey; Mearns, Audrey; Proctor, Kayti; Sellars, Nicole; Ware, Troy; and Watkins, Ryan, "It’s Never Been Just for Boys: Female Fans of NCAA Division I and Professional Sports" (2014). College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs Presentations. 15.