Kevin J. Stone, New England Football Journal
If you saw the Women’s Football Alliance and the teams in the league – particularly the Boston Renegades – blowing up social media on Super Bowl Sunday, it was for a good reason.
During the big game between the Eagles and Chiefs, the WFA posed an easy yet thought provoking solution to the disparity between men’s pro football and women’s pro football coverage and financial backing from major brands, particularly those paying for Super Bowl commercials: “Give Us A Second.” One 30-second commercial costs an estimated $7,000,000, which is $233,330 per second. That amount could easily fund an entire season for one team when it comes to air fare, travel, equipment and other logistics. Most of the athletes are still in “pay to play” mode and have “regular” jobs throughout the week. One second off the commercials from one of these massive companies could possibly change the league and the sport forever for women who are passionate about playing professionally.
“The #GiveUsASecond campaign is helping to build awareness around the disparity between men and women who play the exact same sport.” WFA Pro CEO Jess Dodge recently said, “We want companies to understand that there is great value in investing in women’s tackle. Many do not even realize that women have been playing tackle for over 40 years and that we have some of the top athletes in the world in our league.”
Boston is lucky because the Patriots and many other local business have backed them throughout their dynastic run over the last few years. Having some of the top players in women’s football history doesn’t hurt either, but some of those names should be getting even more attention than they already do.
“For Boston, Chanté Bonds and Allison Cahill should be household names as both have had their jerseys enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Canton, OH,” Dodge added. “These are historic moments for the sport and we would love the support of brands who invest so heavily in men’s sports. I have witnessed that when a company invests in men’s sports, their employees are excited. When that same company invests in women’s sports, their employees are ecstatic; they immediately ask how they can support the team and make plans to go to games. This is a way for companies to act on their initiatives around diversity, equality, and inclusion and the employees appreciate seeing this. It is a win-win.”
The Renegades don’t have a problem drawing crowds to the Harry Della Russo Stadium in Revere, but that’s not the case for other teams in the league. The team’s success has also helped breed an entire generation of young girls who now want to be the next Cahill, Bonds or Adrienne Smith. With hopes of one day playing at a bigger venue regularly while continuing to expand the brad nationally, the Renegades are hoping this initiative opens some more eyes and more importantly more check books for the phenomenal product.
“When we are able to invest in awareness around our games, the fan base will grow exponentially. Boston appreciates all professional sports and we expect to break attendance records this year.” Renegades Chief Revenue Officer Michelle McDonough said, “The #GiveUsASecond campaign is meant to showcase that if our teams or leagues received a fraction of resources available to men’s teams, we would almost instantaneously make women’s tackle better for the current and next generation of athletes.”