I’m not sure I can say the same for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers… or at least they’re not as popular as they think they should be. Their latest brainstorm may have hurt their cause even further.
This season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are announcing their RED initiative. It is designed to be an “all new Buccaneers women’s movement” to change “how football is enjoyed by women.”
With a confirmed one-third of all NFL fans being female (and that number growing), I never realized attracting the female fan or ensuring their understanding of the game were such glaring issues. Perhaps the Bucs should try winning football games for a change. Women might find that enjoyable, as might I.
For the women who don’t know how to “enjoy” football, RED is here to help.
RED’s agenda includes the Bucs Style Suite where “women can get expert tips on rocking their best Bucs style on game day.” For the record, I’ve been to countless Buccaneers games and the women look pretty damn good. If anyone needs help in the style department, it’s their male counterparts.
In the RED Lifestyle Lounge, women are taught how to incorporate their passion for football into their other passions, which include food, wine, décor and tailgating. Personally, I would think a woman’s game day priorities include ensuring the guy she’s with doesn’t get drunk to the point where he either pukes on her shoes or starts a brawl with a complete stranger.
Maybe, just maybe, women aren’t enjoying football because the guys they’re with (and perhaps they guys they’re watching) are complete buffoons. You know, like the ones who came up with the RED initiative.
As you’ve probably noticed, I have my thoughts on the Bucs’ feeble and clearly ill-advised attempt to talk down to their female fans (hey, how can we get more black fans too?) but I tried not to sway my readers.
This exercise was simple. I asked a number of my female readers, of which I have plenty, to sound off on the latest Bucs “movement.” All I did was ask them to write in 300 words or less about what they thought about the e-mail.
They did not read the previous rant for which I now feel much better, thank you.
While I agree that building an educated customer base is an integral part of any successful business strategy, one can’t help but misconstrue the Buccaneers’ efforts to attract more female fans as offensive. I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that they’re degrading an entire fan base or that they’re not smart enough to realize they’re doing so.
This is why I’m relying on my enlightened, informed and avid female fan base to let me know what they think. Am I overreacting? Is this ploy wholeheartedly sexist or is it much ado about nothing?
Perhaps I’m looking at this the wrong way. Maybe I would embrace a similar effort if the Bucs reached out to their rather exclusive clique of Jewish-Puerto Rican bartenders. Party of one, please!
I trust my readers will let me know.
Here’s what I sent everyone:
Dear faithful SportsChump readers…
Since I am a former Buccaneers season ticket holder and still on their mailing list, I recently received this e-mail describing RED, the team’s new movement to better incorporate the female fan base.
What I’d like is your opinion on the matter.
I’ve included the e-mail verbatim below and would like for you to write in 300 words or less (or more if you like, or way less if you like) your thoughts on their “initiative.” Do you find it earnest? Appropriate? Offensive? Much ado about nothing?
Your responses will be put on the site, in the post, anonymously if you like, along with my thoughts on the matter, which you don’t get to read ‘til later. Sorry, he he. I’m doing my best here not to sway anyone’s opinion. Sign your responses as you’d like for me to put them in the post.
As you know from reading my site, I always try to engage my readers in stimulating conversation. So please share your thoughts and send me your comments back as soon as possible so I can get the post up and running. If you don’t want to write anything, please let me know that also.
Here’s the e-mail they sent… and thanks.
You are invited to help us kick off RED, the brand new Buccaneers Women’s Movement. RED is a movement that will be led by the women of Tampa Bay, alongside the Buccaneers, to become innovators and leaders who will change the way football is enjoyed by women! We want to re-invent the female fan experience and provide women with opportunities to share their Bucs pride through exclusive events year round.
Join us at Raymond James Stadium to become a part of RED, the Buccaneers Women’s Movement, at our exciting Launch Party event!
Launch Party for RED, the all new Buccaneers Women’s Movement
Thursday, September 10
Raymond James Stadium – West Club
Your registration includes:
Up Close and Personal – With GM Jason Licht as he highlights what to look for from your Tampa Bay Buccaneers on field this season
Bucs Style Suite – Get expert tips on rocking your best Bucs style on gameday and beyond
RED Lifestyle Lounge – Learn how to incorporate your passion for football and the Bucs into your other passions: food, wine, décor, tailgating and more
Appearance and Conversation with a fan-favorite Bucs Legend
Buccaneers latest fashion and merchandise available
Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, complimentary beer and wine sampling
Drawings, prizes and much more!
And here are the responses:
P.S. – Tampa, Florida
I think it’s another marketing technique to try and get more asses in the seats. More and more large brands are identifying that it is, in fact, the female voice that tends to drive much of the day to day decisions in a house hold like ‘what to do on Sunday?’ for example. I do think it won’t really add too much revenue after the initial push as it is ticket cost and team record that keeps the stands less than full.
S.M. – Apollo Beach, Florida
My two cents.
I appreciate the effort however I personally enjoy the football experience the same way my fellow males do. No special treatment needed here.
Now, I am a sucker for fashion so I look forward to adding some new RED swag to my wardrobe.
Other than that give me a beer and a hot dog on game day and I am happy.
That being said, I have an idea. How about celebrating a ‘win’ for a change? No need to reinvent the football experience for us women, just win a game every now and then.
A.P. – Daytona Beach, Florida
I think it’s a great marketing strategy and can be a great way to increase Bucs attendance which can be pretty pathetic for some games! I’d be more inclined to attend if they brought the players to serve the complimentary drinks, shirtless, but hey, that’s just me.
If I still lived in town, I would go! Great way to network in my field!
S.H. aka Dr. M. – Tampa, Florida (not a female but his response was too priceless not to post)
OH YAY NOW SOMEONE CAN FINALLY TELL ME HOW MUCH A TOUCHGOAL IS WORTH!!!
S.B. –Lubbock, Texas
When I got SportsChump’s message about the Buccaneers new initiative for women, I thought it was something similar to a program that Mike Leach started at Texas Tech during his tenure as head football coach. That program invites ladies to spend an evening at the stadium learning what it takes to be a football player, learning the finer points of the forward pass, going through conditioning drills, and things like that. The evening ends in a press box luxury suite well stocked with beverages and hors d’oeuvres where the coaching staff explains basic offensive and defensive plays and penalties. In other words, the women actually LEARN something about football and theoretically are better equipped to discuss whether the Seahawks should have called a pass play on 2nd and 1 with 26 seconds left in the game. All in all, it is one of the most popular fan events at Texas Tech. If you wait until the last minute to reserve a spot, you’re out of luck because the event always sells out. The only drawback is that since the hiring of Kilff Kingsbury(the hottest coach in college football), many of the attendees are there simply to see if they can get their hooks into Coach Kliff.
Then I read the actual e-mail from the Buccaneers and discovered that my first impression couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Buccaneers initiative the way they describe it sounds like the Junior League meets Tailgating. I mean wine samplings at a football event? Seriously? What are they going to discuss- the proper vintage to serve with Buffalo wings? Should you wear heels or flats when sitting with the common people? How to properly accessorize a football jersey?
As a female, if you want to improve my fan experience, then teach me about the game. If I want to discover the differences between a Bordeaux and a Tuscan red, then I’ll book a tour of France and Italy for my next vacation.
Based simply on the information provided by the Buccaneers, this is not an initiative that I could get excited about.
K.T. – Fayetteville, North Carolina
I am curious about your feelings on this initiative. Being a card-carrying (and personally verified) member of the male population of our species, does the so-dubbed ‘Red’ movement offend your masculine sensibilities? Is there room for the admittedly esoteric concepts of Style Suite and Lifestyle Lounge in the male perception of gridiron propriety?
Every year, I look forward to a fresh season of football, albeit with a less fresh set of eyes. That is not in any way to be construed as any sort of reference to my age, Chumpster. My hometown team has dashed my hopes against the rocks of defeat so often that my enthusiasm has declined, little by little, over the years.
So am I mad about or have my panties constricted in any way about the Bucs trying to endear the fairer sex to them with this Red thingy? Absolutely not. I think it’s timely, smart, and even a bit ambitious, as it could attract a younger demographic who may be lured by the frufru, but will maybe fall in love with football. We are pretty princesses, after all, and we deserve special attention. Embrace the frufru.
R.K. – Oakland, New Jersey
Thanks Chris…this is interesting. My first thought was, the wording of the email is a bit offensive. The RED Lifestyle Lounge insinuates that because I am a Woman I need to be taught how to watch football and do other things simultaneously. I multi-task all the time! If my husband has any sort of party, football or otherwise, you can guarantee, I’m the one preparing the food, decor, etc. On the flip side of the “coin toss”, I like that the Bucs are trying to get women to enjoy/experience football the way men do. I appreciate the fact that the Bucs realize they do have a large female fan base and want to include them in special events. I have never gotten together with a group of women, for a “girls night out” football game. Then again I’ve never gone out with a foursome for golf either. It’s just not my thing. I think the email would have been more receptive if they took the approach of, “Hey, calling on all of our faithful female fans! Help us grow our already strong fan base. We are introducing RED, the brand new Buccaneers Women’s Movement. We want to get those women who just like football, to love it. So get the ladies together for a “girls’ night out with football”. Here’s the plan…….
A.K. – Tampa, Florida
Hello Chump Nation, I’m what one would call a “sports fanatic.” Oh and I just so happen to be a girl too, weird I know. I’m all for having more female sports fans but can we do this RED movement in a less condescending way? Yeesh! To do it in a way that incorporates so many of the stereotypes of a 1950’s housewife is insulting! Especially to the women who have knowledgeably cheered and cringed for this team all along. I mean for god sake the first term of the week is “play clock.” If anyone should be studying this term it should be the Bucs players, lol!
Helping people understand football isn’t a bad idea, there are plenty of people who don’t, and I would love to not have to hear their ignorance at the bars I frequent. Encouraging female “fans” to get involved isn’t a bad idea either, but not every girl gives a shit about throwing the perfect Bucs themed party or if that touchdown matches her outfit.
Who knows, maybe this will end up being a good thing. Maybe it was just marketed terribly. Time will tell but I prefer my football not to be marketed to me differently because I’m female. I like my football just the way it is, the good, the bad and sometimes the very ugly.
P. W. – Ybor City, Florida
I never knew women had such difficulty enjoying sports. It sounds like it COULD be fun and hopefully a positive experience. But, unfortunately, it also sounds like another way for typical kept and competitive women of south Tampa to flex. It will probably be great for anyone with the right figure and income. At least it will give somebody with a little too much time on their hands something constructive to do.
PS- what does RED stand for?
R.C. – Saint Petersburg, Florida
The new “red” campaign that the Bucs are pushing is utterly ridiculous and offensive. As a female who has grown up loving sports I am very confused on why according to the Bucs there is a specific way I am supposed to enjoy the game. I don’t think it is appropriate for them to be offering fashion advise on how to wear a football jersey. Is it so wrong for me to wear a standard Bucs jersey and jeans to a game? Just because I am a female doesn’t mean I have to wear a shitty little pink outfit with the Bucs logo on it. What other aspects of my life do I need to incorporate the game into? None because that is an absolutely stupid concept. If I am tailgating at a football game clearly the team is already a big aspect but if I am tailgating at a concert there is no way it is going to have anything to do with football. The only home decor that would be Bucs related would be in our sports room. The Bucs pushing this home furnishing line will not make me turn my home into a losing team sanctuary. I am sorry but if anyone from the Buccaneers staff tried to explain the game of football to me I will gladly explain it back to them because clearly that team doesn’t get it.
L.L. – Saint Petersburg, Florida
It has recently come to my attention that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are launching a Women’s movement called RED. Before I instinctively made any judgments, well just based on the name alone, I did my research. And I have to tell ya, my gut reaction to this idea of a “Women’s movement” was spot on.
I am a woman who considers myself semi-knowledgeable on sports. I will be first to admit I may not know all the calls and plays BUT I know I can enjoy a game and sling back some beers along with guys just like any other woman I know of. The idea that I need “fashion forward apparel” to do so has me not only feeling offended but also not being able to control a laugh.
How far have we really come from the 1950’s stereotype where women were only good in the kitchen? Let me pop back some valium and vacuum in my heels while you enjoy the game where men throw around something called a football, honey. I feel that this “movement” is not one in the right direction. Once again women are being made out to be pretty little creatures only good for flipping their hair back and learning about the best tailgating appetizers. I personally know some women who know the game of football better than men do. Since when is knowledge of a game sexist? As if women didn’t already feel uncomfortable when it comes to sports games, and yes I’m talking “fashion forward apparel” again because let’s face it, buying a jersey for a women simply means something tight, V neck and with possible sparkles on it. Not to mention constantly being on the alert so we aren’t getting groped at games.
Let’s continue moving forward as a society while quietly taking 10 steps backward into decades that are long gone. But I guess us woman won’t notice how sexist this campaign is because we will be too busy learning about what to wear and cook via Pinterest. I don’t need a program designed by men to help “shape me to enjoy football”. I need my husband, some good friends and beer to do that. Two thumbs up from me, Bucs, looks like you put your foot in your mouth on this one.
S.D. – Tampa, Florida
Sounds like fun, maybe a little sexist. If they want to increase the fan base, they need to win. I know about the game. I’m a bigger fan than most men.
V.B. – Tampa, Florida
It’s like they’re trying to feminize football, like women are not hardcore fans. It sounds like they want us to sit around, do our nails, get drunk on wine and talk about who has the tightest back end. Do we suck so much that they to resort to this to sell Bucs merch?
D.G. – Tampa, Florida
The Bucs’ new RED campaign to attract more female fans could appear, to some, as sexist and chauvinistic. It is, however, clever marketing. Believe it or not, admit it or not, there are women in the real world who want equal pay for equal work, yet are still women who like pretty things. I happen to be one who loves red, high heels and glasses of red wine. My preference does not discount those who prefer tennis shoes and tequila shots. The Buccaneers seem to have a specific target audience in mind, and although it may inadvertently offend some, it will most definitely attract others. Instead of jumping up to get mad, women should embrace the intent. Just as all men are not beer guzzling, face-painting, tailgating types of fans, neither are all women. From a marketing standpoint, this creativity in attracting a new client/fan base, different from who they already have secured, could prove to ruffle feathers, but also fulfill their goal.
E.D. – Tampa, Florida
Maybe more women would come to games if you weren’t the worst team in football. Try that!
A.W. – Plant City, Florida
Oh boy! So, I do not watch sports and if I ever do, football is not my choice. As it turns out, the Buccaneers now have really confirmed that their football is annoying.
It seems that the Bucs have jumped on that DeLorean and surpassed 1986 and made all the way to back 1946. As I read about their new Women’s Movement to educate women in football, the only thing I pictured in my head was this ad:
What is going on? It almost seems to be part of a certain presidential campaign. As a NON-FOOTBALL FAN I could not be more offended. I imagine that those women that are FOOTBALL FANS would be extremely offended. Does this mean that women do not have the capacity to understand the rules even if they are interested in the game? I guess the implication is that our brains are too small or that our husbands and boyfriends and fathers are too stupid to explain things to us. Seriously, men and women both should be offended by this campaign.
The other side of the coin is that it implies “You should like or get interested in what your man likes…be a good little wife.” Argh! I am guessing no women work for the Bucs and if any do, they are not allowed to express their opinions on this, hence the existence of this very campaign.
I say we start our own RED campaign. An educational movement for men to help them understand lip color based on occasion, season, and the look you are after. We can also teach them on when it is appropriate to wear a red dress and when it is not, such as a funeral. Of the BUCS even.
“Game day style tips?” Seriously? This is part of the movement. Here’s a tip: Stop wearing the name of another man on your back like some prison bitch. Unless you’re into that. I’m waiting for football calendars with glitter and lipstick marks on some of these guys walls.
They claim they want to “reinvent the female fan experience.” Ok, how about teaching male BUC fans how to balance sex and football during football season. There’s a reason why the term “football widow” exists.
As a comedian and actor, I can tell you that I know plenty of men that have no interest in football. Some of them date women that are football fans. Where is their movement?
Wait, that’s right. That would require actual target marketing, focus groups, market research, etc…things which require thought and analysis. Something that maybe a BUC marketer’s pretty little head cannot handle.
D.D.M. – Gainesville, Florida
RED, the all new Buccaneers Women’s Movement has been created to “Re-invent the female fan experience” and shall teach us “how to incorporate your passion for football and the Bucs into your other passions.”
WTF? Are you kidding me?
Um… Like we women need to reinvent the fan experience? Or learn how to combine our passions ;)!! OMG, what is this?? Fanaticism for Dummies???
The Bucs only apparent “movement” is to piss many sports obsessed women off by dumbing down. I know several women who are passionate about sports and it’s what we are into; you can’t teach this kind of passion. Some of us women (yes there are others like me) have even taken it to greater passion and knowledge than their spouse or friends. I have evolved from a “cradle” baseball fan to a SPORTS fan learning different sports and stats by watching sports TV, games with friends, listening to the sports announcers, reading magazines or newspapers and now plethora of sports media via Internet and phone app(yay).
Sports news is the last thing I read at night and first I read in the morning. My son has been telling me for years “I like what I like” and this is the same for the love of sports or whatever someone else wants to indulge in. True sports fanaticism passion can’t be taught and if we women are fortunate to have this kind of passion, we are certainly talented and smart enough to know how to combine our passions in our daily life because we can’t live without the things “we like what we like.” Like the L’Oréal commercial, “We are worth it” and a “Ridiculous Event Deliberation(RED)” can’t teach that.
First off, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedule cooking, cleaning, sewing and homemaking to respond to my request. You girls rock for sure which is why I asked you all to participate.
As you can see, the responses range from interested to offended but one thing they all had in common is that women I polled are all informed and don’t feel they need special treatment to enjoy a football game like their male counterparts. They want to be entertained just like the rest of us. Provide a safe, fun environment for them, their friends and their family and the rest will take care of itself.
We’ll see if anybody’s listening.