clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What About The Lady Ballers?

Is the basketball industry neglecting a large portion of the market by not making enough women specific gear?

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball is not just a sport, it is a culture.  All different kinds of people actively participate in this culture, from mothers of little league players to NBA all stars.  Everyone has their different involvement level.  Despite these different levels of involvement the market is still strongly geared towards males, and almost neglects to even sell anything women specific.

Currently, girls who consider themselves "real ballers" buy all of their basketball clothing and shoes in the male section.  This due to the fact that there is next to nothing in the girls' section, but also because the guys' section fits better and is ten times cooler.  Girls get the ugliest shoes, and the cheapest looking shorts.  When girls play basketball they want to look and feel like basketball players; they don't want to be cross country runners with crew socks and a sweat band.

Marketing to males makes the most sense.  More guys play basketball than girls, and it is socially acceptable for guys to wear basketball apparel as their everyday attire.  Not to mention, people actually watch the NBA.  I have yet to meet someone who regularly watches the WNBA.  This is the main reason why there are no player specific shoes or clothing lines in the WNBA.

If I had to choose between selling basketball attire to only males or females, I would choose males hands down.  However, companies don't have to choose one side of the market.  While it is impossible to make one product that works for everyone, it is possible to segment into different product lines to reach more consumers.  I think that there is a market for the female side of basketball culture.  Is it the biggest? No, but every girl player would love to have basketball attire that looks feminine but performs masculine.  After all, girls are fashionistas too.