The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Boom Boom Tap

Have you seen Under Armour's new commercial? The company has started a new marketing campaign, nicknamed Boom Boom Tap, directed at what they feel is an untapped resource-- team girls. The commercial features female high school and college athletes in a wide range of team sports-- softball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer.

On one hand I love this commercial. I love seeing women involved in sports, strong and fit and competitive. Title IX was enacted when I was 16, so I grew up with little or no emphasis on women's sports. Neither my parents nor my older brother were especially athletic, so I had little encouragement to get involved. I never played on an organized team. Aside from the health and fitness benefits for women, I think playing sports, especially team sports, teaches girls incredibly important skills and life lessons. Teamwork, being coached, yes that is important, but so is PLAYING TO WIN, developing a competitive edge. That's what I find so appealing about this commercial. It's shows women playing to win.

On the other hand, the commercial features almost entirely tall, attractive white girls. There are few women of color and no women carrying a few extra pounds or "vertically challenged." Yes, I know, its all about marketing and featuring real female athletes is less likely to sell skin tight athletic wear. But it sure would be nice if Under Armour would sponsor some girl's teams from inner city high schools and put them in their commercials.

I was in my local sporting goods store a few days ago and I did notice that Under Armour products have a much bigger presence in the women's clothing section than even a few months ago. I'm sure this has everything to do with Boom Boom Tap and fall sports on the horizon. It's OK with me, the less Nike I see the happier I am.

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