Football players in lingerie. Scantily clad, sweaty, attractive women tackling each other. This is what it takes to get men to watch women’s sports.
What is Lingerie Football?
Lingerie Football is a stripped down (pun intended) version of American football, with no field goals, no punts, a 50 yard field between end zones and a pretty good chance of a nipple sighting.
Team names include such gems as: The San Diego Seduction, The Dallas Desire, and The Miami Caliente. Classy. The saddest part is, this league is expanding very quickly. I’m not sure if this is based on financial success or if it’s just testing particular markets. Boasting 10 teams last season, the league is adding a few more for this upcoming season, including teams in Las Vegas and Toronto.
This is one small step for football, one giant step backwards for female-kind.
Is talent enough to sell a female sport?
Maybe, but probably not. Despite the talent, I’m never going to watch a WNBA game. Are you? It’s just not at the same level as the NBA.
After watching a basketball skills competition that included both the men and women competing, I saw just how talented some of these female athletes are. Sure, they can’t do incredible dunks, but many are incredible shooters. Still, it’s not enough.
Maybe more people would care about the WNBA if the girls wore Catholic school girl outfits and high heels. Maybe instead of shooting a basketball, they could hit each other with pillows or just make-out and grope each other for the whole game. Obviously, I’m kidding, but what does it take to sell women’s sports?
Is lingerie the answer?
No. Like most guys, I like women in lingerie, but I don’t want to sit in a stadium full of guys sporting wood and watch bad football. A Lingerie Football League game is where you go for a bachelor party, not where you go to watch quality football.
What’s the answer?
For the answer, let’s examine a female sport that does well. Tennis. Women’s tennis is probably the one of the most marketable female sports. Is women’s tennis marketable because female tennis players play at a high skill level, or is it because of things like this?
Probably a little bit of both. Short skirts and tight tops are the women’s go-to tennis outfit. Short skirts aren’t lingerie, but they’re not sweat pants either. The skirts grab a guy’s attention, guys watch a bit and realize, not only does this Sharapova chick have a sweet caboose, but she’s a great tennis player too.
The answer to marketing female sports isn’t lingerie, that’s too extreme, but examining the tennis formula, the solution might be making the uniforms a little sexier, but still keep them respectable. It’s awful that marketing a sport comes down to this, but it’s either tight tops in the WNBA to garner some attention or no tops in a Topless Basketball League. Wonderful world we live in, isn’t it? Yeesh.