On Monday two major merchandise and marketing deals were announced by the NFL and the NBA that are targeting female fans, specifically the style conscious. While the NFL is cooking up some sort of secretive, still-in-the-works apparel deal with the high-end, womenswear fashion label Marchesa, the NBA signed a licensing deal with sports fashion footwear maker HERSTAR™ to offer two styles of sky high, ladies’ platform heels in 30 NBA team logo/color combinations. Nothing says “Go Knicks” like a bedazzled, bright orange and blue, platform shoe. We’d love to meet the women who are prepared to navigate the steep, stadium seating stairs of Madison Square Garden in a pair of these. Better yet, we’d really love to see Amar’e Stoudemire try to dunk in them.
According to the LA Times, “fashion-forward football fans can expect to see some sort of limited-edition shirt from Marchesa — a label better known for the runway than the sidelines — released in collaboration with the NFL. League representatives confirm that there is, indeed, something in the works with that luxury label, but they declined to offer any additional details as to price, availability or even what kind of shirts (T-shirts? fancy tops?) we might expect to see.” Whatever the item turns out to be, the fashion industry trade paper WWD reported that it “will make its debut during the NFL’s two weeks of kickoff festivities in New York planned around the Sept. 5 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys opener.”
In related, women based sports marketing news, the NFL also has plans to unveil a female-focused print advertising campaign this September that will feature high-profile football fans like former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, mogul spouse Melania Trump, Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders, former Miss USA Susie Castillo, owner spouse Suzanne Johnson (husband Woody owns the New York Jets) and “Dancing With the Stars” dancers Peta Murgatroyd and Kym Johnson.
But, let’s get back to the NBA HERSTAR™ shoes, which we don’t know whether to admire as sculpture or fear as weapons of mass destruction targeting women’s feet and good fashion sense. Female basketball fans looking to make a BIG style statement (of sorts) can choose from a limited-edition, crystal-encrusted pump with a 6-inch heel and 3-inch platform ($274.99) or a more demure microsuede version that has a “modest” 4-inch heel and 1-inch platform ($99.99). They’ve got a shoe for every team in the league in both styles, so everyone is a winner (depending on how you look at it).
When it comes to fashion we say to each her own, but the only redeeming quality we can find with these shoes is that they are made by hand. Maybe Marchesa and the NFL will get it right on the apparel side.