Sunday, September 20, 2015

MLB, NFL seek to blend fashion and fandom

The manager of the Orioles team store stepped away from the baseball-themed hair ties, headbands and nail polish to unlock a case displaying a leather-strapped Dooney & Bourke handbag.

The black bag was patterned with neat rows of white "O's" logos and had a $329 price tag — enough to buy a handful of large bobblehead dolls plus a dozen $11 orange foam fingers.

The Eutaw Street store at Camden Yards sells those, too. But the foam fingers and replica jerseys and caps — as reliably a part of the baseball experience as the seventh-inning stretch — now share the shelves with an array of newer products reflective of a concerted push by Major League Baseball and other big league sports to better appeal to women by closing the gap between fandom and fashion.

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