Success Story: Indianapolis Colts
Women make up 45% of the fanbase for the National Football League (NFL), so many NFL organizations now are working hard to make sure they’re serving all their guests—including breastfeeding moms who want a private space to pump or nurse. The Indianapolis Colts knew they wanted to do more to support their fans who are also moms. Ashley Powell, director of community relations for the Colts, shares her insights on how the Colts improved the game-day experience for their breastfeeding fans.
Observe and anticipate guests’ needs
Many fans attend Colts games with their families, and the team at the Colts noticed an uptick in requests for a lactation accommodation. Unfortunately, there were few spaces available at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts, for nursing moms that provided the kind of experience the Colts wanted for their guests—a quiet and clean lactation space. And one free from interruption.
One such existing space was the stadium’s First Aid room, but any time there was a medical emergency, moms using the room had to move. Says Powell: “We knew we could do better. The Colts always want to give our fans the best experience possible, from ingress to egress.”
The only available spaces in the stadium for a new lactation area were closets and storage rooms. “We knew that converting one of these spaces wouldn’t be a great experience for our fans,” says Powell. “But making structural changes to the existing facility would be not only expensive but also a challenging, time-consuming process.”
Powell looked into how other NFL teams served breastfeeding mothers and learned that the Minnesota Vikings had purchased four freestanding pods from Mamava. “When I read their press releases and spoke to their leadership team, I felt confident about bringing the idea to our leadership.” The Colts leadership team— which includes three moms with first-hand knowledge of the challenges of breastfeeding—was fully supportive. “We recognized that a dedicated, clean space to breastfeed or pump wasn’t a luxury, it was a necessity,” Powell said. The team immediately approved the purchase of one Mamava pod.
Earn fan loyalty
To help alert mamas to the new space, the Colts held a press conference and took other steps to notify the public. At the next game, women lined up to use the pod. “One woman was even pumping in line!” says Powell. “I just kept thinking ‘where were these women going before?’”
The Colts recognized the demand and immediately purchased two more pods.“It takes a village to raise a baby,” says Kalen Jackson, Colts vice chair and owner. “This is our way of being part of that village for our Colts fans.”