Reebok doesn’t want to ignore women while they are pregnant.

This story first appeared in the June 26, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

That’s why the athletic firm is launching a collection of maternity T-shirts under its National Football League division. According to company research, more than 40 percent of the viewers of NFL games are women and, as a result, women’s NFL apparel is Reebok’s fastest growing business.

“Women love football because it brings the family together,” said Tiffany Coldwell, Reebok’s NFL women’s product manager. “We realized how women were buying the product, but then we were ignoring them for nine months while they were pregnant.”

Coldwell said many women were buying oversize men’s shirts to wear while they were pregnant, something that wasn’t figure flattering. So, Reebok has created a line of cotton maternity T-shirts, available in both long and short sleeves, with team logos and kitschy sayings like “#1 Draft Pick” printed on them. There are also a range of gift packs available, which includes a T-shirt and matching bib and onesie. The collection will launch for retail selling during the fall 2010 football season, and Reebok is targeting stores like Destination Maternity and, as well as all the NFL team stores nationwide. The line wholesales from $15 to $17.50.

To help get the word out on the new line, Reebok has teamed with “The View” co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck to be the face of the brand. Hasselbeck, whose husband Tim is a former NFL quarterback, said she also has a personal connection with Reebok.

“I actually did a design internship at Reebok years ago,” Hasselbeck said while taking a break shooting the ad campaign for the maternity collection. “The NFL has a tremendous amount of female fans. Watching a game can be a real family bonding experience, and I can tell you that the women behind the games are truly the most intense of the fans.”

Hasselbeck, who is due with her third child in early August, said that after wearing the shirts on set all day, “they have a great fit, they are super soft and nice and long so you can easily wear them over your workout pants.”

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