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How Alyssa Milano disrupted the business of fan apparel

Alyssa Milano spoke at the Sports Business Journal’s Game Changers conference in New York on Thursday. The topic of discussion: the business she started that disrupted the fan apparel industry.

Editor’s note: On Thursday, Bizwomen editor Mary Johnson reported from New York City, at ” Game Changers: The Intersection of Women and Sports,” presented by the SportsBusiness Journal (a Bizwomen sister publication).

When you think of Alyssa Milano, your first thought might be “Who’s the Boss?” (she played the role of Samantha in the 1980s — and maybe again very soon?) or “Charmed” ( as the sister/witch Phoebe). You might even recall that UNICEF commercial that periodically dominates cable channels.

You might not think rabid sports fan.

But she self-describes as one — and she talks the talk. Her favorite golfer? Sergio Garcia, “and that thing he does with his hands.” Her NASCAR driver of choice? Jimmy Johnson. She likes the Lakers and the Clippers. At the college level, she roots for USC.

And she loves the Dodgers.

It was at a Dodgers game eight years ago, in fact, that she was inspired to disrupt the business of sports fan apparel with Touch by Alyssa Milano. It happened like this:

She was at a game. She got cold. She slipped out of her seat and headed to the stadium shop to find a sweatshirt, a hoodie, something to warm her up.

But when she walked into the shop, she couldn’t find anything for women that wasn’t pink.

“And I’m really offended by the pink, being a huge sports fan. I just didn’t understand why there was nothing in the team colors and everything looked like the cuts were cut for kids,” Milano said during the Sports Business Journal’s Game Changers conference in New York City, celebrating the women in sports business.

She didn’t buy anything — didn’t want to waste her money on something she’d never wear again. She instead went back to her seat and looked around the stands. She saw a lot of women — and a lot of them were wearing pink.


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