It’s no secret that sports is a man’s world. It is run by men, coached by men and directed by men, so it comes as no surprise that professional sports caters to, speaks to and is directly engaged with the men who love the game. But what if things were different? What if women were at the helm of professional sports? If this seems like a far off notion consider this:
- Women make up almost 50 percent of sports fans across the NFL, NBA, MLB and NASCAR. (she-conomy.com)
YES—women watch sports. Many women watch sports. When you consider the women who are trucking their child of to his/her sporting games several days a week, some women are more in touch with the game than their male counterparts.
Even so, given the current economic and consumer demographics, it would make good business sense. Consider this:
- Women represent 51 percent of the population, have greater spending power than men, and women have the fastest growing personal spending power over the past decade. (Source: she-conomy.com )
- Over 60 percent of women watched sports regularly versus 42 percent who watch soap operasRegularly. Women watch more sports than soap operas! (Source: BigResearch Media Study)
- In 2007 the number of female unique visitors at work to sports-related web sites grew 37 percent, compared with the the same period, outpacing the percent increase in male visitors by 76 percent. (Source: Nielsen Online)
So, this idea of women at the helm makes good business cents!
So what WOULD sports be like if women served in key roles? Imagine this:
- Female friendly suites in stadiums complete with better lighting and female amenities in the bathrooms. I had to go there. It's a bit stereotypical, but we are women, after all.
- Increased advertising revenue. Inviting companies like Victoria’s Secret, Cover Girl and Old Navy to advertise to the almost 50 percent of the viewing audience is smart business. Though these companies all currently make products that cater to female sports fan, this market is currently ignored in the advertising in mainstream sports.
- A wider variety of female sports apparel. Though the current selection is good, opening the doors to better sports fashion can never be a bad thing.
- More focus on protecting the players from injury. While men historically have a linear mindset around the nature of the game, a “softer side” should always be considered. You can protect players without destroying the fundamental concept of the game. Just ask the NFL.
- Increased efficiency: I think a woman would have figured out—and straightened out the college bowl system.
- Fierce-er competition. A woman serving as the head coach may be just what some of these teams need. If you don’t think a woman could be as intense about her team, I would ask you, have you ever seen two women fight over a man?
Do you think a woman would make a good sports commissioner?
This is a seriously funny, yet, thought provoking notion. If you don’t think this will happen, think again. This season the NFL welcomed its first female referee—Shannon Eastin. In 2008 Wendy Lewis was named the SVP of Diversity and Strategic Alliances for Major League Baseball, and in 2011 Justine Siegal became the first woman to pitch batting practice in a major league spring training camp when she threw to the Cleveland Indians.
There's a notion that women coming into the sports world at this level is a serious case of encroachment and most of the men I talked to called a "flag on the play" at such a notion. Then again, the same things were said about women actually playing sports. It wasn't that long ago when that idea was considered ridiculous and far reaching too.
All things being equal (pun intended), it may not be too long before the next NFL, MLB, NBA and/or NHL commissioner is a woman.
Things that make you go hmmmmm?