Christina Howard

WIDE RECEIVER

What makes Christina Howard want to hit somebody

Women’s football continues to grow and gain acceptance at one of the fastest paces in sports because of women like Christina Howard, who choose to play the sport without the benefits of insurance or any significant financial compensation men who play in the NFL , and other male dominated sports may receive. Many players take on and exhaust some credit debt just to play the sport they love.

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Women like Christina depend primarily on donations and sponsorship's to fund their ability to fulfill their dream out on the gridiron. The Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) is a ground breaking league whose focus is to one day soon eliminate women’s football pay to play model, by developing partnerships with major brands that relieve many of the out of pocket expenses of players and team owners. Corporate sponsorship's and player endorsements are critical for the financial management and success of all sports leagues. Numerous brands have not sponsored women’s sports mainly because of the lack of broadcasting and online exposure; but the trend of women’s football is on the rise. According to Forbes, many brands are missing out on the opportunity to get behind and support this hidden gem in the form of sponsorship's for women in sports. “The biggest brands with the biggest budgets are still likely to back the most recognizable global sporting stars and teams. With some notable exceptions — Serena Williamsfor example… The article goes on to say, “Brands that may not have a traditional synergy with sport or athletes are also seeing opportunities to increase engagement and promote values through women’s sports.”

The publication Marketing Week says, “If you measure women’s sports by the same metrics as men’s sports, it is going to be difficult and an unfair assessment for a client to sell in. Whereas if you actually look at the broad opportunity, it is much more accessible than men’s sport and produces much more interesting content.” There are opportunities in women’s sports where partners can reach their market and start to engage with fresh untapped audiences.

Accelerative thinking brands like Riddell, Adidas and Bleacher Report Live of Turner Sports are taking big leaps and making history with the WNFC in 2019 to be pioneers by supporting women’s football in partnerships no other women’s football league has ever been able to achieve. But even with their leaps of faith, women’s sports currently only receive 4% of sports media coverage, while making up 40% of sports participants and 45% of sports viewership. That seems like an extremely unfair disproportion. More shocking is women playing football [the most popular sport in the nation] only receive < 0.5% media. Yes, less than half of a percent. Yet that has not stopped women who love the game from paving the way for little girls with the message, #girlscan be anything their heart desires.

In 2014 Dr. Jen Welter became the first female to coach in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals; she became a trailblazer for women and girls who not only wanted to play football, but also for women who had a passion for coaching the sport. There have been women coaches now for the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers. Now, the SVP of Business Development for the WNFC, Coach Welter along with a fervent group of experienced women’s football leaders with NFL coaching and USA Football ties, has taken women’s football to an entirely new level.

This past decade the interest in women’s sports has risen significantly. High school boys participating in football has decreased by 7%, whereas high school football has seen an increase in girls playing of 79% in the same time frame. A recent article reported that 66 % of the entire population is interested in at least one women’s sport. When it comes to targeting general sports fans, 84 % of them are interested in women’s sports all together. Of those sports fans, 51% are male. This confirms that women are interested in watching women’s sports and that women’s sports also represents a major opportunity to engage male fans in a new way with fresh content. As for watching women’s sports content, 46% say they would watch women’s sports if made available. This is a huge opportunity for media companies to create new sales ad categories, generating more advertising revenue.

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The WNFC agenda is to engage these eager audiences, grow and promote the great benefits of women playing football globally, including fostering diversity and inclusion conversations we can all participate in to contribute in eliminating gender bias.

Dr. Condoleezza Rice Talks Diversity And Inclusion In Sports at NFL Women’s Summit

There is a kind of toughness that has to come with being different and that is not going to change. It goes both ways; the opportunities have to be opened up because people have to be looking. And those of us who are minority and female have to say, ‘I am going to breakthrough. I don’t care what the numbers look like.

Women’s football encourages women’s health, fitness and wellness collectively. For many, it is even therapy, their escape from many years of circumstances we’ve come to learn about the plight of womanhood in campaigns around civil movements represented by hashtags #metoo, #noh8, and #nomore. Christina Howard and others like her play for all of these reasons and more. To see her play live for yourself, #stepyourgameup and purchase early bird special Atlanta Phoenix season tickets today. To see real women playing real football is a thrilling sports experience to share with friends and a day you will surely never forget.

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Watch previously recorded women’s football game here

Related: Facebook exec says: "We need more women in power "

Players Information

NUMBER

26

POSITION

WIDE RECEIVER

HEIGHT

5'4"

WEIGHT

125 lbs

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