Only about four months removed from the mass of praise and excitement that surrounded the launch of the first women’s specific boot pack to hit the market and include all of the top end boots on any brand’s roster, we now find ourselves in a very different situation. Despite only four months passing, Nike (the same brand that released the women’s pack) has now released almost five different colorway updates to their boots for the male side of the game…but have not updated their women’s colorways at all…
So, the question has now arisen: Was the women’s pack a one-off?
From a purely financial standpoint, we would typically find that there just wasn’t enough of a draw in the women’s side of the game to justify different colorways. However, in nearly every aspect imaginable, the women’s game has grown since the bump from the USWNT and their WWC win. The attendance at professional games for the women’s teams has held steady at the highest numbers that have ever been seen, the USWNT has seen record-breaking numbers at all of their recent games, and early reports are showing an uptick in female participation at all levels of the game. If there was ever a time to show support to the women’s game and cash in, now is definitely the time.
Looking at this from the standpoint of public perception, brand’s are missing out on a wealth of positive PR and other benefits. First off, catching the current wave of growth would be a massive benefit as all these new players would search out your brand’s gear. If any brand outside of Nike decides to truly make inroads, now would be a great time to try and steal a piece of the pie. If Nike makes the first move, the women’s game could be locked down for the Swoosh for the next decade or more. Second, the window to promote your brand as being a supporter of the women’s side of the game BEFORE it became massive is closing at an alarming rate. Being able to claim that you’ve long been a supporter of any major movement is always worth some serious points with the general public. It also can be very detrimental if you are seen as trying to jump on a bandwagon.
The gap between women’s pack releases has us wondering if any brand will create another one. Will we have to wait until the next Women’s World Cup in France before we see a major brand attempting to finally shift some weight into the feminine side of the market? Not to mention that Nike couldn’t even go whole-heartedly the first time around…by making men’s sizes available on their “women’s specific pack,” it essentially defeated the whole ideal.
We are really hoping that we see some fresh product on the women’s side of the game sooner rather than later. Do you think that brands should have continued in creating women’s pack? Or, do you think that we shouldn’t be surprised or upset?