New numbers show surge in female football fans - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

New numbers show surge in female football fans

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

After decades of sitting on the sidelines, new numbers show a surge in female football fans.

The growing trend is big business to retailers—from Marie Claire's Savvy Girl's Guide to Football to Chicago Bears Ladies Night Football 101.

"I believe that because I'm starting to learn more about it," says tourist Candi Kraning.

"I'm going to sit and watch the football game tonight!" Chicagoan Markeisha Jordan sarcastically remarks. "No. So I'm not really interested as much, but I do have friends and female cousins that are really into it and I support it, it's cool."

Monica Murphy Vargas leads a digital community of Chicago's female sports fans on SportsDivasInc.com. She says the NFL's marketing to women is bigger and better.

"The league now constitutes 45 percent of their fan base as women," Vargas explains. "New lines for women that hug their curves, that are feminine, but also show their fandom, that are not pink but actual true team colors."

Another company looking to capitalize is Victoria's Secret and its Pink collection of Chicago Bears apparel for women.

Vargas says the ladies love football for different reasons than their male counterparts.

"Women can follow their favorite players... Players now share so much more information on social media, from the birth of their children to their reaction after games and you actually see a lot from their wives and family members as well," said Vargas.

Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler's wife, Kristin, has more than a million followers on Twitter and tweets about her jewelry and shoe line - appealing to the 1/3 of female football ticket holders.

Girl power in the league is growing.

"All it takes is going to Soldier Field or out to a sports bar on Sunday to see how many women are active participants when it comes to Chicago sports," said Vargas.

The Chicago Bears Ladies Night Football 101 is Tuesday, November 12th, 5-9 p.m. The event at Soldier Field features an exclusive tour of the Bears locker room, equipment demonstration and autographs from current bears players.

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