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Great Moments in Marketing to Women

Mar 2, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

Can someone ask Major League Baseball or Nike if they sell this in a girls’ medium?  I’d like to quit teaching my daughter about how cool baseball is and how to appreciate the sport as a fan and get straight to turning her into a groupie:

source:

Keep sending those positive messages to women, MLB. Never change. And if you’re savvy, pair that shirt up with these to compete the ensemble.  Let’s not half-ass the degradation here, OK?

In other news, here’s a shirt I may actually get for my daughter if she gets into baseball seriously.

Women are fans too.  Maybe if we didn’t treat them as silly little fan girls who only like ballplayers because they’re cute the moment they show any interest in the game there would be more of them.

  1. hasbeen5 - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    If you don’t like the shirt, don’t buy it. I bet a lot of women will hate it, and a lot will buy it.

    • gendisarray - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      Some things aren’t just a personal issue, they have a negative societal impact – like the fact that the majority of runway models meet the body mass index criteria for anorexia or that a plus size model is currently one that wears a size 6 or larger. We don’t need half the population thinking about themselves along those lines.

      • hasbeen5 - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:49 AM

        We also don’t need to need to be hyper sensitive about every damn shirt that somebody puts on the market. And I have serious doubts about the negative societal impacts that will be brought on by a Nike tee shirt.

      • gendisarray - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        @hasbeen5 – yeah, I hear your point about hyper-sensitivity. I wasn’t talking about this shirt in particular, but rather the idea implicitly behind it – that women should just focus on looking hot for men and don’t need to be taken seriously (in this case, as serious baseball fans). Lots of that going around these days. Hopefully I didn’t come across too soapboxy.

    • samiratou - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      The problem isn’t that these shirts exist, so much that it’s so darn hard to find anything else. As a female sports fan my choices generally come down to 1) pink and 2) slutty, neither of which appeals to me and are, quite frankly, insulting. If you want to cultivate female fans, treating them like they only come to games to gawk at men or to tag along with their boyfriends isn’t going to get you very far.

      • hasbeen5 - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:18 AM

        You’re the second female to say that your choices are limited, but I don’t think you guys are shopping very well. My wife, actually any of my female relatives, would never wear the pink stuff but they always have the local school’s gear on in female cuts.

      • samiratou - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        Schools are quite different, actually–that school spirit crosses gender lines has long been acknowledged, but the idea of a female pro sports fan seems to be a new concept. Not that it is a new concept, just that the marketers seem to think it is.

        The NFL is a bit ahead of the curve, and other sports are starting to catch up, but most of the time I end up in something too big from the men’s department or something from the kid’s section, especially when it comes to jerseys.

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        Worth noting that part of the problem is that these shirts do exist. My girlfriend is starting to develop a love for baseball, but we went to the store the other day to buy her first hat and when the guy offered her a pink one right off the bat she gave him a look so withering I think he may have started dying slowly like that guy in Thinner.

        The majority of women don’t want to be objectified, don’t want to be pandered to, and don’t want their fashion choices dictated by men who think every woman is a former sorostitute. Unfortunately, gender equality is one of those issues people get defensive about instead of listening, so change may be a long time coming.

      • patg1041 - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        If women want to stop being sold pink hats, then women need to stop buying them. Stores aren’t keeping them in stock because they lose money.

    • hasbeen5 - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Thumb down all you want. I’m simply pointing out that there are other options.

      See the MLB shop website

      http://shop.mlb.com/category/index.jsp?categoryId=1452623&cp=1452371

      If people hate this shirt and others like it, they won’t sell and then will no longer be produced. Vote with your wallets, but don’t turn this into some “Nike hates women” thing.

  2. frankvzappa - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Riding in on the high horse this morning, eh Craig?…maybe instead we should just force all women to wear suits and ties, so they all look like (to borrow some FZ) “a slightly more voluptuous version of somebody’s father”…this is America (at least it used to be), don’t like it, don’t buy it, but there is no reason to be acting all offended about stuff that doesn’t affect you in the least…but that’s just, like, my opinion, man…

    • cur68 - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      ‘kay, for once I sort of follow your point, but you lost me with “there is no reason to be acting all offended about stuff that doesn’t affect you in the least”. Read the post again.There’s a bit in there about the message to his DAUGHTER. Read the t-shirt. Says “talent scout”. That’s the bit where he’s being affected, I think. Would you want anyone marketing a shirt that basically encourages your child to be a sports groupie?

      Now the hi-heeled, logo-shoe I got less problem with. All that says is : I got no taste and I’m gonna break an ankle on the bleacher stairs.

      • 24missed - Mar 2, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        Hey Cur,

        Back again!

        Can flip-flops or birks with wedges be considered among the ‘no taste’ category? That’s usually where I stand. Pun completely intended.

        And yeah. To each their own re: the t-shirt issue. I have more of a problem with trying to find a player tee that fits. No way I can fit into a woman’s tee. Unless my new handle is 24menand1woman. So, since I am not a porn star, I delve into the land of the male tee’s.

        Some female baseball fans don’t particulary care for their boobz to be on display at a game. Total hypocrite, ’cause I don’t mind guy-gawking.

        On that note, Cur, you were missed.

      • cur68 - Mar 2, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        24! Nice to “see” you again, too. I must confess, women’s footwear is largely lost on me: my eyes never get that far. You could be in rubber boots as far as I’m concerned. I have to say that “need the boy shirt to keep the gawking down” definitely caught my attention, though 8) . I hope things are going ok with the medical stuff.

  3. woodenulykteneau - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    The sad reality, Craig, is that this isn’t being marketed to women. It’s being marketed to men, specifically the kind that read Maxim magazine, visit Bleacher Report, and can name the WAGs of his favorite players.

    • El Bravo - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      You’re right. I thought ‘boobz’ as soon as I saw it and now want to see it on all the hot ladies at all the ballgames.

      Seriously, this doesn’t grind my gears all that much, but I don’t have a daughter or a sister. There are still other options, but the MLB need not be playing the fangirl card so regularly, I agree.

  4. crispybasil - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Craig, you’re discriminating against men. I would totally wear that shirt. In fact, I bet we could squeeze Prince into one.

    • Graves - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      “I bet we could squeeze Prince into one.”

      I’d like to see the Vegas odds on this one. There’s money to be made here folks.

    • Cris E - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      “squeeze Prince into one”

      Talk about your Made For Cable moments. Either a Friday night pay per view or an episode of Mega Engineering (or Dirty Jobs). Anyway, thanks for that image…

  5. Gobias Industries - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Rush Limbaugh is designing shirts now I see.

  6. phukyouk - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    you got something against the SI Motherfu*ker shirts?

    • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      That was my first instict. I don’t think you can praise the Miggy shirt and call this offensive. Bit of a contradiction.

      • spindervish - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:26 AM

        This is an excellent point. If you’re gonna get all morally outraged about stuff, at least be consistent about it. I seriously doubt whoever came up with that shirt intended it to be worn by 8-year-olds. If I were a parent, I think I’d be more uncomfortable with my kid seeing a shirt with an expletive on it than some silly sexual innuendo they probably don’t even get.

      • shaggylocks - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        There’s nothing inconsistent about it. “Si Motherfu*ker” isn’t sexist. This shirt is.

        I bet you’re one of those people who, when someone raises valid concerns about certain sports team names and mascots being racist (Redskins, Chief Wahoo, etc.), start making absurd slippery slope arguments. “What next? Do we need to change the name of the Angels so we don’t offend any Satanists?”

        You can have legitimate concerns about the appropriateness of the Si Motherfu*ker shirts (which, by the way, are not official MLB merchandise), but the concerns that shirt raises are not the same concerns this shirt raises.

      • spindervish - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        You’re just being dense. No one said the concerns were the same. It’s the very existence of concern in one case and not the other on the writer’s part that I find inconsistent. He celebrated the profane shirt and then turns around and plays the “What message is this sending my daughter?” card on this.

        More broadly, this shirt might offend a certain segment of the population, and justifiably so, and Craig has a problem with this. The Cabrera shirt might just as well offend an entirely different segment of the population, also justifiably, and his response is “Thumbs up, motherfucker!” Inconsistent.

      • Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        Your point about official MLB merchandise is valid. The rest of what you said was silly. 1) It must be nice to have enough cash to wager on judging people based on one internet comment, and 2) Are you really going to argue there is nothing sexist about the word mother******?

      • shaggylocks - Mar 2, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        “Your worth as a sports fan is based on your sexuality” vs. “bad words.”

        Yeah, okay, you’re right, they’re about equal.

      • spindervish - Mar 2, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        Again, no one said that (or at least I didn’t), and their being equal is not at all essential to the point I made.

        You’re pretty bad at arguing.

  7. badmamainphilliesjamas - Mar 2, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    And now from a woman’s perspective…

    It’s not offensive, just silly.
    I love baseball. My daughters love baseball. My mother and my 91-year old mother-in-law love baseball. We enjoy the game, and the availability of girly gear does nothing to diminish that (but we’re not buying!).

    If the stuff sells, MLB, Nike, etc. will make more; if not, it’s their loss.
    And my mother-in-law does think a lot of the players are cute.

  8. kopy - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    I guess it’s just like those “Female Body Inspector” t-shirts for men. Just don’t buy one if you don’t want to look stupid. The problem is that these are officially licensed by MLB and all teams, and it seems really strange of them to do that.

    • chadh88 - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Haha..I almost forgot about those shirts since all those guys seem to be wearing Affliction and Tapout shirts now.

  9. Jonny 5 - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Well the reality is a large number of American women don’t mind this type of stuff one bit. If they did plastic surgeons wouldn’t be doing boob jobs, lipo, lip implants, and butt lifts anymore. The beaches wouldn’t be full of women wearing basically nothing. Skirts wouldn’t exist. Women would be men with boobs and less hardware in their jeans. And what type of world would that be anyway? Yikes! Anyway if there’s a buyer for it, it will be produced.

    • El Bravo - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Indeed indeed. All of those things are marketing tactics if you think about it. Their marketing themselves toward men b/c that’s what American men have decided come to believe is attractive. Does this sound sexist when I write it? That’s b/c it is, and that’s the world we live in. Like I said above, there is no need for the MLB to perpetuate this though, since they could easily avoid playing the ‘fangirl’ card. Finally, and most importantly, boobz.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      I’m not sure about the first part of your point. I believe that the girls and women who force change on their bodies are doing it out of low self-esteem. The sheer amount of nose jobs, boob jobs, and butt jobs mean that the patients are people who don’t like their current bodies. That’s a bad way to approach life, and it’s not healthy for future generations.

  10. paralamaleta - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    As a female, i’ve been complaining about this for years. i’m tired of the pink, sequins and crystals all over shirts, jerseys, and products aimed at women. I also don’t want a shirt that says “Chicks dig diamonds” or “Can’t hit on me” with a team logo. why can’t these companies just modify the same designs they make for men for a woman’s body?! it’s infuriating. I see all these shirts and jerseys that I’d love to buy but i have curves and hips and look like an idiot in men’s styles.

    • hasbeen5 - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      I live in a big college football town. In addition to the pink crap, there are a lot of shirts in team colors as well as replica jerseys sold in women’s cuts. A lot of girls do buy the pink stuff, but if you don’t like it, it’s not like you don’t have other options.

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      I understand where you’re coming from, but I thought i’d let you know that they do produce “regular” baseball gear cut for a woman’s shape. http://dsp.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pMLB2-8887015t130.gif And on the other hand they also sell the “cutsie” girl stuff too. Because people buy it. I bought my wife a “youth” baseball cap that looks regular too. She still wears the one that looks all girly though http://dsp.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pMLB2-8887015t130.gif and my son absconded with the one I bought her.

    • rooney24 - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Actually, my baseball fan wife has a “Chicks dig diamonds” shirt. It is the only Twins shirt she has, as she is first and foremost a Cardinals fan. We both thought it was funny.

      While the shirt above is borderline on the taste issue, if someone makes it, and people are fool enough to buy it, I can’t hold that against them for making it. While there are a lot of women baseball fans, there are also still a lot of fan girls as well.

      • kopy - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        It’s a Twins shirt? Were the out of t-shirts that said “Chicks dig terrible baseball?”

        -Twins fan

  11. philcokesbrain - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    I saw David Chadd wearing this yesterday.

  12. tn16 - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    That’s a cleat chaser shirt

  13. Gamera the Brave - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    My 11 year old daughter, who has played a fair bit of fast pitch, isn’t a huge baseball fan – but she HATES this kind of shi(r)t – it’s all about chasing boys, very little to do with the game…

  14. spindervish - Mar 2, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    I get the disappointment over these kinds of messages, but the reality is it’s not the job of a marketing division to improve the moral fiber of society. The job is to sell shit. Morality is not relevant. If there’s a market for something stupid or offensive, they should absolutely try to get that cash if they can. To not do so out of some sense of moral responsibility would be a poor business move. Acting like you expect marketing or advertising types to take the high road and forgo a profit opportunity is either naive or disingenuous – as is pretending that there aren’t a whole lot of silly fan-girl types who will eat this shit up.

    • tuftsb - Mar 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      It’s probably relevant in terms of what other sports are doing in their marketing plans and how this license fits within those plan.

      The NFL has announced that it plans to make a major push to target 12-18 year old, Hispanics and women over the next ten years. They want to increase female fans to the 40% mark (currently 34%).

      If MLB’s tactic is to try to increase female patronage, I do not see how these products fit that long term plan. The other 3 major sports are faily misogynist, so if MLB decides that heading in that direction is financially profitable and maximizes short and long term economic goals, I hope that they did their market research.

      It appears that they are adopting a “me too” attitude and not differentiating their league.

  15. contraryguy - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    “Talent Scout”… kinda cute, actually. Better than the more straightforward “Gold Digger” or “Future Trophy Wife” shirts that truth in advertising would demand of this shirt’s target market.

  16. cleverbob - Mar 2, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Why don’t they offer this in men’s sizes? The homosexual community should be outraged as well.

  17. shzastl - Mar 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Chicks dig the long ball.

    Craig if you don’t want your daughter to be that type of girl, that’s your job, not Nike’s.

  18. tuftsb - Mar 2, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I will save my righteous indignation for whne Nike does a “Just Do Him” version which I am sure has been greenlighted by someone in marketing.

    But considering Nike did shirts that said “Dope” and “Get High” at Niketown, I give them no benefit of the doubt.

    http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/back_bay/2011/06/mayor_opposes_nikes_window_dis.html_

  19. garlicfriesandbaseball - Mar 2, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    If Nike had their smarts about them they’d make a woman’s T-shirt with a slit boat neck and ones with rounded and V-necks. We hate that crew neck stuff. Aside from that why can’t a girl be girlie and still love baseball? Since when does anything she wears have to do with the measure of her love for the game. This isn’t football you know ~ there’s more to baseball than t & a!

  20. Chipmaker - Mar 2, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    I am SO getting that FAN(xgirlx) shirt for my daughter.

  21. Bryz - Mar 2, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    I showed this t-shirt to my girlfriend. She said it was “okay” and then compared it to Baseball Boyfriend.

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