On Wednesday, November 29, 2006, in New York, you expressed a desire to court women fans. We recall portions of your statements: "It's a very big initiative. [Women] fans want to be treated as real fans because they love the game and they understand the game and they want to have the opportunity to experience the game just as anyone else does… We want to try to reach out and figure out how we get those…casual fans to become more aggressive fans and feel comfortable doing it. We think absolutely the female audience is a big potential for us…”
In 2010 you renewed that desire by allocating $10 million to a new campaign that focused on products for and ideas from women fans. We were thrilled, finally, to have an opportunity to express our vision of a partnership with the National Football League that would greatly impact the economic well-being of the association, as well as local communities around the country. Partnership would allow women fans to connect, share and begin the process of genuinely bonding with the league.
In 2011 we submitted a preliminary proposal to open discussions. It was followed by the expansion proposal after we were told that we would have to wait for the 2012 season ― which is upon us.
So with renewed commitment to dialogue, we overlook your silence during the first half of this year; we overlook the mocking of your staff; we overlook the lack of courtesy to us, for we see the brightness of the future radiating from the door of inclusion.
The establishment of the NFL Women’s Foundation (NFLWF) as a supportive arm of the association, as we have proposed and framed, will be proven to be a defining moment in the league’s history if approved. Its rising shall have economic significance both nationally and internationally. The foundation will be our comfort zone ― our place in the league. It will be our design, effort and legacy, thereby adding a balance beam to the core of the league as it approaches its 100th anniversary (2020) in sports entertainment. It’s about time we showed up in full!
It can be said that women’s romance with the league has come as a surprise to them and perhaps even to you, if the meagerness of the courtship is considered. Such marriages, however, are often prolific in creative achievements that are driven by purpose and passion.
Do you recall Disney’s 1991 presentation of “Beauty and the Breast” which depicts a grand castle and its occupants darkened and changed by self-importance, disregard for others and haughtiness?
The decision to meet with us is yours, Commissioner;
The PowerPoint presentation is ready. The 198-page women’s training guide is ready. Are you ready to consider our plan in earnest?
If you would like to fly in for a one-on-one prelim, March Air Reserve Base Airport (Code: RIV) is two miles from us. The PowerPoint outline is 45 pages; the corresponding presentation is 101 slides. The foundation’s first five years of operation are covered in detail. Rules of language, conduct and remedy will be clearly defined.
From the beginning of this courtship, you have offered us merchandise. Yet, our goal has always been partnership. Merchandising is an automatic benefit of such a relationship, indeed to a greater measure than the league has realized so far. We view partnership as a reasonable return on resources women have already invested in the league. We have a stake in the success of the association, as does every American who powers government.
Our research shows that the total women’s fan base of all 32 franchise markets is currently 6.4% of the U.S. women’s population, ages 18 to 64 ― that is 6,346,924 women fans of the total franchise-market women’s population of 30,172,793. There are 98,810,922 women in this country between the ages of 18 to 64. The fan base will increase exponentially through the women’s foundation.
Commissioner, we choose to believe that you are a gentleman of integrity. We also choose to believe that the words written to us in March 2011 will be honored. If not, our hearts will go on.
And by the way, sir, would you kindly list us as “women fans” in the official records.
Linda Schexnayder, Editor
Healthy Living USA Publishing