July 21, 2016
Years ago, I was in an Alliance Council meeting with Sounders FC front office members and their adidas™ representative at the time (I don’t remember his name). One of the topics of conversation was disdain for the women’s jerseys. He talked about how poorly women’s attire sold and listed that as the main reason their company didn’t have a huge interest in investing heavily in women’s jerseys or other attire. Our response was pretty much along the lines of “Wait, wait, wait! We’re Sounders fans – do you know who you’re talking to? We buy a lot of stuff.” He was really diplomatic, but he never wavered from his message: Sounders women’s jerseys don’t sell either. We had a limited conversation about why women don’t buy them, and he gracefully gave us the opportunity to engage further.
Earlier this year, after seeing that two MLS clubs had released women’s jerseys which were more representative of what an athlete would wear on the pitch, we re-engaged in this conversation. I posted a blog about it here. Sounders FO personnel and owners were very open to making changes, and I’m not even sure they were ever made aware of more authentic options.
Today, I am proud and honored. I have learned that adidas™ and Sounders FC were able to make changes even this far into the production schedule. The 2017 offering will include a women’s jersey with a more authentic neckline and cut. Making such a change happen after the jerseys were this far into the production cycle is no small feat, and speaks greatly to the respect that Sounders FC has for us and the concern we brought forward. Alliance Council can’t fix everything, and there are days when I feel like we’ll never be able to fix enough – but this is one that women have complained about for years. Some of the clearest explanations came in social media replies as the original blog was forwarded and posted: “I’m tired of having to buy clothes to wear under my clothes,” and “Show me a team that ever entered the pitch dressed like that.”
Ladies, you’ve been heard.