NEW YORK (AP) — Football fans will soon be pulling out their jerseys, but a few have gotten a jump on the season: Serena Williams, Melania Trump and Condoleezza Rice are among the NFL fans who’ll be appearing in ads promoting team-themed apparel and gear next week in a campaign called “It’s My Team.”
And these outfits aren’t just for game day. There are fitted blazers, burn-out T-shirts and earrings.
In her ad, Williams — who is not only a fan but also a limited partner in the Miami Dolphins — wears her colors in a graphic T-shirt paired with a dressy little black jacket. The image makes its debut in September magazines.
“Forty-five percent of fans are female and that continues to grow,” says Tracey Bleczinski, vice president of NFL consumer products. “We do have something for everyone, and this campaign aims to communicate that if you are living and wearing football, you can do it every day, year-round.”
After the photo shoot, Olympic swimmer and TV host Summer Sanders wore her outfit home, Bleczinski says, and that’s just what the NFL wanted.
What fan gear to wear is something that Suzanne Johnson, philanthropist wife of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, finds herself discussing a lot.
“The female fan looks not only at the game, but the whole stadium experience,” she says. “I have girlfriends that come with me to games on a weekly basis, and they’ll ask, ‘What are you wearing?'”
She adds, “Women are still women.”
Johnson says she thinks female interest in football is on the rise because women like to be part of a group and a stadium — or even a family room filled with fans — has a feeling of camaraderie that adults going about their own busy lives don’t often get.
Plus, NFL gear can be a conversation starter.
“I always tell single girls, you’re more approachable if you’re wearing your Jets clothes,” Johnson says.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.