Until recently, women who wanted to represent their team didn’t have a lot of options. Most sweatshirts and T-shirts were baggy, oversized and made for, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear this: men. When I was in college, I had to buy a child’s XL Jerry Rice jersey just because it was the only one that at least kinda sorta fit me.
But once it became clear that women sports fans were here to stay, marketers finally realized that they had a huge opportunity in the retail space. After all, while a lot of dudes just wear the same jersey to every single game, women are less likely to want to repeat an outfit. For the 49ers alone, I own four hoodies, one thermal, a scarf, several hats (winter and baseball), one pair of gloves, hair rubber bands and countless T-shirts (long and short-sleeved), and the aforementioned jersey -- all branded with the team logo. And I only wear 49ers’ gear on game days.
I’ve seen women in all sorts of official team apparel at games. I’ve seen bedazzled tanks and five-year-olds in cheerleader outfits. Mommies in maternity tees and chicks in bikinis. OK, I haven’t actually ever seen a girl wearing a 49ers bikini, but seriously, that’s an actual thing you can buy. And though I’m not a huge fan, I can live with pastel colors and sparkly rhinestones. What I can’t live with is the super-cheesy MLB clothing line from Victoria’s Secret PINK.
I’m usually the last person to join the prude parade, but for some reason a team shirt with “Designated Kisser” emblazoned across the chest makes me cringe. Pair that with the T-shirt that says “Meet Me in the Dugout” and the whole thing is starting to sound like an excellent set-up for a date rape. And believe me, the guy doesn’t need to see that your panties say “I'm a Great Catch” to know that he’s hit a home run. He totally figured that out when you let him take your pants off.
Obviously, this is all a bit of an exaggeration. I don’t think that every girl who wears a shirt that says “Caught Looking” is going to be in the hospital with a rape kit by the seventh inning. But PINK *is* Victoria’s Secret line that’s marketed towards teens and college girls. I can’t imagine how many parents out there want their 15-year-old daughter parading around in short-shorts and a T-shirt that tells all the boys she was picked to kiss in lieu of her friends who just can’t do it as well. Even if it's true.