Women and the NFL: The Ravens’ Purple Club

Women and NFL - Ravens' Purple Club

If you’ve never heard of it before, “pink it and shrink it” is a marketing strategy for women. It’s pretty self-explanatory – make things smaller and use the color pink, and you’re good to go. Computers, razors, tools – you name it, it’s been “pinked and shrinked.”

The NFL definitely went through a “pink it and shrink it” phase, one that I like to block out because I personally think the pink jerseys were hideous. (Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who uses pink as part of the color theme on this blog.) Moreover, they all looked the same. It was impossible to tell which team the pink jersey was for, unless you got close enough to see the name and the logo. It definitely took away from pride associated with wearing your team’s colors.

(FYI – If you’re under 10, you get a free pass and can wear pink jerseys, as long as you promise to get a real jersey once you grow out of the pink one. Also, we don’t necessarily hate bedazzled things. A little sparkle never killed anyone.)

While the NFL as a whole has definitely gotten away from the “pink it and shrink it,” each team goes about marketing to women differently. From a Google search (I’m only human, I need Google to learn about these things), it’s evident that some teams do this better than others. The focus on female fans runs the gamut from non-existent to team-sanctioned fan clubs with thousands of female members.

We also absolutely love to give credit where it is due on The Snap, so today we’re telling you about Purple, the team-sponsored Ravens fan club for women.

I spoke to Katie Bollinger, an Advertising & Marketing Coordinator for the Ravens, to get the details on Purple. It was great to be able to get the perspective of someone within the organization and hear her thoughts on the female Ravens fan.

According to Katie, Purple evolved from the success of a series of Football 101 for Women clinics in 2006. One year later, after realizing the untapped potential of the female fan, Purple was born. The clouds parted, the sun started shining, the birds began chirping, Ray Lewis squirrel danced, and things started to look up in the world of the female football fan. (Or at least that’s how it plays out in my head. I’ve got an extremely active imagination.)

According to their site, the goal of Purple is “to provide our female fans a community entirely for themselves. […] Designed with the female Ravens fan in mind, Purple provides a forum to stay involved with the team and each other through updates, special offers, events and more.”

Their signature event is the Purple Evening, which takes place on Monday, October 13, this year. The night involves exclusive stadium access, field clinics, locker room tours, and autograph sessions, as well as giveaways. This year’s event is limited to 5,000 attendees, which is an impressive number of football lovin’ ladies. Although it’s free to join Purple, tickets to the Purple Evening are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. (UPDATE – We attended the 2014 Purple Evening and it was awesome! Check out some pics and stories from that night here.)

After talking to Katie, the most important thing I took away was that the Ravens view the Purple Evening as a football event with a splash of girl’s night, instead of a girl’s night with some football elements. It all goes back to the Ravens recognizing the power of the female fan and tapping into the needs of those fans. Katie pointed out that women love to know the guys behind the helmet, something we can definitely attest to here at The Snap.

When I asked Katie to describe the average Purple member, she responded without hesitation, “Hardcore. These are smart women who know their football.”

Clearly, these are our kind of people.

It is worth noting that about 2% of Purple is comprised of men, since they can’t exclude men from the club. They may be in the minority, but men do show up to the events, which are generally catered to women.

Other Purple Events include a Bingo night, with the chances to win Ravens swag and an appearance by a player to read the numbers, as well as organized happy hours for away games. Purple will also be hosting its third annual Away Trip, which sounds like an awesome experience. A ticket to the event covers admission to the game in Pittsburgh, transportation to and from the game, and food/drinks. Can anyone say road trip?

I thought it would be neat to get the perspective of a fan who had attended some of the events, so I also got in touch with Jessica Scott, a Ravens fan who has always had passion for the game.

To give you some background, Jessica is a mother of four boys (God bless you, Jessica), who grew up as a cheerleader and with brothers playing the game. Her husband is a die-hard fan as well, which is why the family doesn’t leave the couch on Sundays, Thursdays, and Mondays, during football season. (Sounds like they’ve got their priorities straight.)

Jessica has attended both the Purple Bingo Night (she won once!) and the Purple Movie Night, and really enjoyed both events. She will also be attending the Purple Evening this year and is looking forward to getting together with other ladies who share her passion for the game.

“Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I do not understand the game or love it less than any man.”

Amen to that, sister!

For more information on Purple, check out the links below:

Website: http://www.baltimoreravens.com/ravenstown/purple.html

Purple Events: http://www.baltimoreravens.com/ravenstown/purple/purple-events.html

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/purplejustforwomen

Thanks again to Katie Bollinger who took the time out of her day to answer my questions about Purple. We’re so excited to see what Purple has planned next and we hope that other teams follow their lead!

– Michelle


3 thoughts on “Women and the NFL: The Ravens’ Purple Club

  1. Pingback: Ravens Week on The Snap! | The Snap

  2. Pingback: Snap Road Trip: Purple Evening with the Baltimore Ravens | The Snap

  3. Pingback: Women and the NFL: Crush – The Denver Broncos Women’s Fan Club | The Snap

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