I had a chance to interview Linda Haithcox Taylor, founder of Women Love Sports Too, to find out more about this incredible vehicle to engage women in sports.
Linda grew up in the Windy City and has been a lifelong Chicago Bears fan. Early in her marriage, she would find herself alone during social events because the men would be either watching football or discussing it, while the women were into deep conversations about fashion or motherhood. As a diehard sports fanatic, she longed for a shared sports experience like the men were enjoying, instead of sitting at a table pretending to care about the color of someone l s nail polish. But the women in those days didn’t have a clue what a first down meant, and just didn’t seem interested in the excitement over a violent game with a few beers and chicken wings.
|Fast forward about twenty years later when it suddenly came together for Linda to start her organization. “It came to me in a dream. I jumped up out of the bed and started writing in the middle of the night.” Linda had unofficially surveyed women on their thoughts about sports for decades. A majority of them said, ‘”Something my husband watches,’ and that’s when I knew that those women just didn’t understand sports.”
So, she began developing a training program to teach football to women. “l want to educate women on the sport so they can enjoy the games with their husbands or significant others. I have listened to too many girlfriends crying because their mate didn’t give them any attention during the game. Women have to know that their feminine wiles can’t compete with a Redskins vs. Cowboys game.” Linda estimates that her trainings helped save at least a dozen relationships over the past few years. Now the women can feel comfortable going to social events with their man and not feel left out. And that is great news to the men, because now they don’t have to decide. Aside from learning about football nuances such as blitzes and a secondary, Linda thinks that the business opportunities for women in the NFL is abundant. “Sports is the ultimate entertainment property in the world.” The sports industry has a lot to offer, as it relates to career and business opportunities.
“Think of the team uniforms, merchandising, tickets, publicity, media, marketing, leagues outside of the country. Additionally, Linda will be auditioning on-air talent for a WLST podcast in the coming months.
In its 20th year, Women Love Sports Too is planning to expand to the International market as American professional leagues, like the NBA and NFL, are hosting games or vending and food and beverages. By the time the game starts, most of the real business has already been transacted.” Linda is using the WLST platform, and her love for sports, to transform the NFL from a man l s game, to an experience that they entire family can benefit from.
Jerrod Mustaf, Executive Director
Diversion Program, Inc.