1. The National Football League has already identified a key way in which it can target its marketing research when it comes to attracting the interest of women. The two identified pillars for the NFL are football and the community. The partnership that the NFL has developed with the United Way since the 1970’s has built it a considerable amount of goodwill. Many women enjoy watching football for football’s sake – if you go to any sports bar on a football Sunday, you’ll see many more women, proportionally, there who are engaged in the game than you would see if any of the other major American sports (hockey, baseball or basketball) were on the television. For other women, the community involvement would be an excellent place to begin. Marketing research could identify the specific areas of NFL community involvement with which the women were familiar, and then identify strategies for finding community projects that would boost their familiarity, as well as for marketing vehicles to bring that community involvement to their attention.
2. For management, the decision problem involves figuring out ways to display the community involvement more prominently in venues and outlets where women who are not already prime consumers of the NFL product will see it and respond to it in a proper manner. Another decision problem involves a more successful method of managing some of the public relations gaffes that have hampered the NFL over the past few seasons. While women may not be as outraged by men by the extended lockout, the increasing violence in the game, in terms of the number of severe injuries, is harming the NFL’s reputation. Such incidents as the recent revelation of a “bounty” system run by the New Orleans Saints’ former defensive coordinator, in which players were rewarded for injuring people on the other teams, offends many fans but is more likely to offend women than men. These are issues that management must face.
3. The marketing research problem that would work well with the information provided above involves finding a way to make the NFL’s community service program the dominant association in the minds of women when they think of the National Football League, provided that they are not already fans of the action. Those women do not need further research, because the NFL’s product on the field has, for decades, spoken for itself. The women that the NFL is reaching out to now do not intrinsically appreciate the game of football and need some more incentive to involve themselves in the sport. The problem involves drawing them into the sport, perhaps even in spite of their initial reluctance to watch the game.
4.1. Where should the NFL market its community service partnerships, in addition to the outlets it uses now? (Hypothesis 1 – morning programming, such as “The Today Show” or local news programs on network stations. Families watch these programs together, and women are more likely to get into discussions about football while watching them. Hypothesis 2 – during female-oriented talk shows. Because these are affective programs, plugging community service here will hit a chord.
4.2. How much damage has the recent revelation of the bounty program and the recent lawsuits against the league for mishandling injuries done to its image in the eyes of women? (Hypothesis 1 – many women may not have heard much about this, as the news about both items has primarily been on sports programming channels. Hypothesis 2 – for many women, this may have reinforced their negative stereotypes about football).
4.3.What do many women dislike about the presentation of NFL games on television? (Hypothesis 1 – the length of the games, particularly when commercials play right on top of each other during back-to-back timeouts. Hypothesis 2 – the chatter from the commentators is aggravating to listen to).