Stop the bleeding! In an attempt to bridge the football fanbase gender gap, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers launched the worst women’s initiative in the team’s history. Tampa Bay women are seeing red after the Bucs unveiled their RED campaign on Thursday.
This new RED women’s movement pales in comparison to the 2006 RED campaign made famous by Bono and Bobby Shriver to get businesses and people involved in the fight against AIDS. You also won’t find the first thing related to the “Go Red for Women” campaign which raises awareness for women’s heart disease. Instead this particular movement is a perverse combination of Emily Post’s 1950 The Blue Book of Social Usage and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ own special blend of, “How to Become a Stepford Football Wife.”
The goal? In short, it appears an NFL franchise wants to exploit their female fan base for profit. Again. It’s a well-known fact that women represent 85 percent of retail consumers. It appears, however, that the Bucs have broken two of the Sheconomy rules: “Don’t Stereotype” and “Understand the differences between men and women, without being patronizing”.
Glazer Family Foundation, Co-President Darice Glazer Kassewitz explains, “RED is a groundbreaking women’s movement designed to recognize and celebrate our female fan base.” Isn’t that what the NFL proclaims to be doing that under the auspice of the breast cancer “Crucial Catch” program? I suppose with all the controversy surrounding the sea of pink on the football field, it’s starting to lose its luster.
It would be nice if the Buccaneers’ offer of “unprecedented access to their favorite team” as a RED member means answers to the long awaited mystery of how much is raised through the sale of pink merchandise. Doubtful. More likely I expect we will see new products, fashions and retail opportunities sold in the name of women. I’m holding my breath with anticipation on how those monies are re-invested in our community. In the meantime, The Center for Transparency, after two years of requests and federal complaints, has finally acquired over 600 pages of NFL tax documents. We are currently conducting our own investigation of the accounting.
I realize the new Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston can’t exactly hit the streets on behalf of his new team, so best to ask the women of Tampa Bay do the legwork for you. Of course, the genius idea to teach women how to bake for a tailgate party and how to accessorize their game day outfits was in an effort to earn new female fans. The real question is: What exactly will they bring that can’t already be found on Pinterest?
Let’s say for a minute I’m buying what you are selling. Will you be spending all the dollars earned from your new fan base on domestic violence public services announcements and treatment for under/uninsured breast cancer patients? Of course with our new “access” it will all be very clear how that money is changing lives.
They want us to “connect with our home team?” Show us what you’ve done for us lately. Be transparent. You’ve lost our interest because you aren’t making an impact on our community where it is needed. Your “New Age of Empowerment” is an old age of humiliation. This isn’t an issue of gaining new fans; it’s an issue of earning the trust of your community.