FRIDAYS WITH DARYL
Hello readers and happy weekend.
I decided that for today's topic we will mention a couple Cards but the main topic will be, you guessed it, women - more specifically female athletes.
We at Cardinal Couple dedicate an insane amount of time and energy towards covering and investing in the female athletes at UofL and beyond. I've talked about it before but I am very proud of the men of Cardinal Couple who put in the work for the Louisville ladies, including myself. Jeff has become an established figure at L&N Arena with UofL volleyball, even traveling to support them. Case is a soccer and statistical guru and I learn something new in all of his contributions. Jared is a staple on the sidelines of every sport in the book and enhances our daily posts at Cardinal Couple as well as the athletes and their parents' who aren't able to regularly come to games get to see themselves/their kids in action. And then there's Paulie who is recognized by every coach in the press conferences, edits/shares our daily posts and steps up when the rest of us can't - Paulie IS Cardinal Couple.
With all of that said, I wanted to talk more about women and their role in the athletics world - where we are, where we are going and how we can do better.
We've touched on some topics at Cardinal Couple - mine being wanting to support the WNBA Cards by buying their jerseys and planning trips to see games. In particular, buying female athlete jerseys for my avid jersey wearing boyfriend. I think Kobe Bryant would agree that having a man wear women's jerseys can have a huge impact. As seen below when Kobe wore the iconic Orange WNBA hoodie in 2019.
Last December, the Sports Business Journal named it the “Best Fashion Statement of the Year.” It is the best-selling WNBA item ever, and it coincides with a period of digital growth for the W. Since the start of the 2020 season, the league has seen an increase in its digital footprint, gaining more than 275,000 followers across its social media platforms, and an increase in average actions per post across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Ratings for the WNBA Finals were also up 15% from 2019.
When Bryant donned the hoodie at the Lakers-Mavericks game, sales of the pullover spiked. After his and Gianna’s sudden deaths in January 2020, it popped off again. The image of Bryant wearing the WNBA hoodie with Gianna courtside became plastered across stories on the relationship between the two of them and his passion for women’s basketball.
“It was just a fan thing before he wore it,” says Jones, who is no longer with the WNBA and is now self-employed as a social media and marketing consultant. “But when Kobe wore it, it became a fashion statement.”
This week, I proudly gifted my guy with his next new summer 'fits. See the proud new owner of a couple pro-Cards, Class of '21 Dana Evans and Class of '22 Emily Engstler, who are blossoming into their roles with their respective squads.
-- The source of NIL deals for men and women is telling, with corporations and other brands spending more of their money on women, and fans and donors overwhelmingly backing men.
-- NIL LEADERS. In a section with more athletes who are leading in the NIL era, Opendorse listed two from the University of Louisville on a page with 25 others. One will not surprise you. Hailey Van Lith has long been reported to have major NIL potential, with 717,000 Instagram followers and 63,800 on TikTok, where she recently posted as a sponsor for Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The other Louisville name might surprise you. Katie Beiler was senior rower for Louisville last season, and her 16,600 TikTok followers had liked her posts more than 2 million times on that platform.
Just a few days after Emily was drafted, I called the Pacers (because the Fever do not have their own building EYEROLL) to inquire about a jersey. I received the amazing Stranger Things themed jersey with a $30 discount for signing up for Fever emails within 3 days of purchasing.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
I'm sure we will cover more of this on this week's episode. I hope you can catch the show live or the recording shared on Sunday post. We should have a good crew on hand. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
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