The NFL is pushing fashion to the forefront with a new ad campaign featuring Suzanne Johnson (wife of Woody Johnson, the Jets’ owner), Melania Trump, the Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, and others, posing in NFL gear and their own expensive accessories. Think Hermès bags and Jimmy Choo shoes accompanying logo apparel representing the league’s 32 teams.
The ultimate goal behind the new “It’s My Team” campaign is to give female fans a sense of NFL ownership that’s separate from merely being a fan of a boyfriend or husband’s team. To that end, Suzanne Johnson is even having the Marchesa designer and Harvey Weinstein spouse Georgina Chapman create a shirt for the league. (That particular number will debut in early September).
The league already debuted more women’s apparel, and took out the relevant fashion magazine ad space to go with it, back in 2010. The new campaign, however, pushes NFL gear into higher fashion and celebrity echelons. Both Condoleeza Rice and “Dancing With the Stars” contenders will star in the ads, and all of the images feature luxury accessories.
It’s a potentially polarizing initiative. Does an image of Melania Trump sporting a Jets top paired with Louboutin stilettos give the general run of female football fans more ownership of the game? Or does it over-feminize the game’s female audience to the point of possibly alienating a lot of those fans?