NFL merchandisers remain on trend with female focus

Products at consumer summit reflect growing female fan base

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With the NFL Draft around the corner, companies are wasting no time getting merchandise on the shelves.

EverBank Field is hosting an NFL consumer products summit this week where nearly 150 exhibitors are displaying their licensed NFL gear to general retailers and buyers. The event is closed to the general public.

News4Jax got a peek inside Monday, where it was clear many of the companies are keeping up with the changing trend in the NFL fan base by targeting their protects for female consumers.

"There are a lot more female fans, young and old,” said Phillip Werdiger, vice president of Outerstuff.

On display were products ranging from pattern purses to fan flowers and trendy T-shirts.

"Boyfriend cuts, V necks, off the shoulder,” said Sherri Moffett, stadium account manager for '47, a sports lifestyle brand. "They're focusing more on girls' cuts and team color, but a little glitter, a little dazzle."

Women are the new most valuable purchasers of sports merchandising, making up 45 percent of the NFL's more than 150 million fans in America. And businesses are stepping up their game when it comes to football fashion.

"Now women have adapted to performance fabrications. They want a cool comfortable fabric,” said Kevin O'Neill, vice president of license sales. "They want something that fits what they see on the racks from their designers they buy in their licensed products now."

Along with the hottest trends, companies are also using babies to market to women when it comes to athletic wear.

"You've got to be kidding me. There's a Jaguars logo on this -- pacifiers, sippy cups,” said Patricia Woodson, founder of Baby Fanatic.

Some business owners said they sell cute baby products to attract moms, who will most likely jump on the bandwagon and buy sports wear themselves. But it can be challenging keeping up with the changing trends when it comes to women’s apparel.

Regardless, the companies at the summit said they will continue to target women customers who seem to be spending more and more when it comes to sportswear.