SportsDivas

Blackhawks Fashion

As the Blackhawks bandwagon loads up this week, discount be prepared to see Hawks gear from every angle: from your bartender to your dentist to that silver fox in accounting – everyone is proudly displaying their Hawks pride and joy, and really, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be as well.

At SDI our love and appreciation of sport and fashion run equally deep – which is why we get so damn excited when our city gets to these types of situations where really – anything Blackhawks goes!

Retro Brand: Clark Street Sports, $29.99

We’re big believers that there is never a bad time, or a bad outfit to rock a team shirt, but with the Hawks inching closer to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third year in a row, and the state of excitement that has taken over our city, NOW is the time to proudly wear your Hawks gear, and of course look hot and fabulous while doing it.

To prove that there really isn’t an inappropriate place to wear Hawks apparel, we picked this Blackhawks Retro Brand racerback tank from Clark Street Sports ($29.99) and paired it with four different and perfectly acceptable looks to inspire throughout the Stanley Cup Finals.

Look #1:  The Madhouse

By Stanley Cup Finals time the Madhouse is swarming with the actual season ticket holders, fat corporate cats and diehards with cash. With ticket prices starting at/around $400 for upper level seats at the UC, be prepared to shell out some major cash to experience it live. If you are lucky enough to go, keep in mind the chilly temps which means no shorts, no matter how hot it is outside, and always bring an extra layer

Look #2: The Office

No matter how corporate your office is, this is probably the two weeks out of the year you can get away with a Hawks tee – all while getting props from others for your bold and insightful choice in office fashion. This look is still polished and professional with the option of showing as much tomahawk as you please thanks to the buttoned cardigan. Come 5:30PM, ditch the cardigan and head to Happy Hour, just be prepared for some major looks and new friends.

Look #3: Backyard BBQ

With consistent warm temps finally upon us, the option of BBQing around a Hawks game is once and for all a reality. Comfort and functionality is key for this setting, as you never know what you may be asked to do: assist at the grill, impromptu game of bocci ball, or fetch more beverages from the local grocery – on foot.

Look #4: Saturday Night at the Newest Hot Spot

Love it or hate it – bars are booming thanks to the Hawks. Lines, crowds, fair-weather-fans – expect them all if you venture out to any place noteworthy, even your favorite local watering hole could seem annoyingly busy these next two weeks as the Stanley Cup Finals and arrival of summer create the perfect storm. It goes without saying, dress the part all while working in your favorite Saturday night pieces.

Enjoy the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs and remember that no matter what you wear or how good you may look – attitude and mojo is half the battle.  Not convinced? Just ask the Hawks!

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Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

While many of us spend the majority of the regular season cheering on our favorite teams, there it’s usually around playoff time that the media really begins to take notice that our numbers are growing and that we are, in fact, a committed, aware and savvy group of fans that just happen to be female.

Our friends over at FOX 32 News Chicago recently produced a story regarding the growing numbers of female Blackhawks fans in Chicago. Our Blackhawks lead writer, Victoria Kendzierski had the opportunity to weigh in (check out above video).

We’ve heard some recent stats that roughly 40% of the Blackhawks fan base is made up of women. Is anyone surprised? With two Stanley Cups in the last four years and a loaded international roster of young, incredible talent (that just happen to be easy on the eyes) and you’ve got the perfect marketing mix. Throw in the 24-hour media coverage that includes every outlet scrambling to out-perform the other and the addition of BlackhawksTV, the Hawks in-house media company and production facility, and we’ve never had better access to the guys and the game.

It doesn’t hurt that the the team, the players (and their WAGs) are pretty active on social media. Thanks to Twitter and Instagram, we get to see what players and their WAGs do on the weekends, where they vacation, where they dine, their pets, their families, their homes. What used to be ‘off-limits’ is now publicly shared by members of the teams and adorned by fans.

Add to the mix the already booming Chicago sports charity scene that the Blackhawks are slowly beginning to join. Bryan and Amanda Bickell are probably the most active with their work in the community that promotes Pit Bull awareness through the Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation. They host events monthly and just a few weeks ago a very pregnant Amanda hosted Pints for Pits at Durkin’s  (read our full review here). This fall, Duncan Keith hosted the Duncan Keith Relief concert and Brent Seabrook has been active the last few years with the ICE Bowl.

SDI'S Monica Gostkiewicz and Amanda Bickell

SDI’S Monica Gostkiewicz and Amanda Bickell at a “Fetching Affair”

Yep, we’ve been to all of these fun events and so have loads of other women. After all, who digs parties, red carpets, giving back to the community, the opportunity to get decked out and hit a hot spot with celebrity athletes? Hmmm…women?!

So while the media begins to take better notice of our growing numbers and Blackhawks fever peaks again, we can only hope that marketers also start paying better attention. How many more dumb blonde beer commercials must we endure before certain brands realize that we are an educated, sophisticated, feminine and aware bunch and are just as avid and aware as our male counterparts? Why teams, leagues and brands haven’t taken a more serious approach to marketing towards women still puzzles me.

After all, carefully converting a woman into an educated and aware fan only benefits the teams, leagues and their vendors. Women lead all purchasing decisions in the household. If a woman is a fan in her single years, the likelihood of her being a passionate fan when she’s a wife and mother is sure thing. It’s her that supports splurging on jerseys for the kids for Christmas and she’s the one that ultimately approves the thousands of dollars that go towards the season tickets each year. Yet, we still see only a fraction of sports marketing even remotely targeted to this incredibly under-served and lucrative demographic.


Women shell out the same amount of cash to go to games, purchase Hawks merchandise and drink the $12 beers at the UC. While some marketers (and media) have improved their delivery acknowledging our growing and aware fan base, many still fall short assuming we that we only attend games because we are dragged along, prefer pink jerseys, cannot pronounce “Toews” and prefer to watch fake-breasted women with pin-up credentials give us the ‘insider’ access to the players that we crave and desire (yes, we’re talking to you Comcast SportsNet).

So, the more women that tune-in, pay attention, know their stuff and can appreciate the benefits of being an educated and aware fan in our sports-blessed city, the more likliehood we’ll see better merchandise, more deserving and qualified women on the sidelines, better marketing from the networks, teams, and media, and an all-around greater respect for the female fan. And that my lady friends, is a win-win.

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Mary Krosnjar in Caché Orange Lace Sheath Dress

Mary Krosnjar in Caché Orange Lace Sheath Dress in the stables of Arlington Park

For as much as we celebrate sport and fashion here at SDI, cialis sale you can imagine how pumped we get each year when the Derby rolls around.

After all, buy what other sporting event warrants a smart new dress, sales a colorful wide-brimmed hat and the chance to cocktail in such a sophisticated manner?

I’ve been very fortunate and have attended several impressive sporting events in my life: the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Final Four..to name a few, but none of them compare to the atmosphere and energy that I found at the Kentucky Derby. From the magnificent Churchill Downs, to the incredible display of diverse ladylike fashion, to the amazing energy that is unleashed during those two minutes of the final race of the day, there’s something magical and timeless about the Derby.

Turn heads in the must-have color and fabric this spring: bold orange lace

Turn heads in the must-have color and fabric this spring: bold orange lace, Caché

If landing those coveted Clubhouse Derby Day tickets and a trip down to Louisville just aren’t in the books this year, you’ll find plenty of impressive Derby Day options right here in Chicago. Our city never shies away from the chance to throw a party around a sporting event and the opportunity to start boozing early on a Saturday. If your Derby Day plans aren’t yet confirmed, check out our list of recommendations on where to go this Saturday.

Of course, half the fun of Derby Day is dolling up for the big occasion. No other sporting event offers such an opportunity to make such a bold fashion statement while unleashing your inner southern belle.

The #1 Derby accessory: the perfect hat

The #1 Derby accessory: the perfect hat

But pulling together the perfect Derby Day look can be trickier than expected. After all, we’re still thawing out from Chiberia and haven’t seen temps push past 65 yet this season. Pulling together an impressive Derby Day dress, with accompanying hat and accessories can be quite daunting for the Chicago girl, who is still considering a permanent west-coast escape as she prevails through unpredictable May.

If a quick dose of Derby fashion inspiration is what you need in order to get out there and hunt down your perfect Derby look for Saturday, then you’re in luck. Regular SDI contributor, and one of Chicago’s rising fashion-blogger stars, Mary Krosnjar, a.k.a, “the Sportsanista” traveled to our #1 recommended destination, Arlington Park, this past weekend, for the perfect backdrop for some of this season’s most wanted Derby looks.

Mary Krosnjar in Floral Placement Halter Dress from Caché

Mary Krosnjar in Floral Placement Halter Dress from Caché, fascinator: Nordstrom 

We partnered with Caché for these Derby looks, the ideal place to check out the next time you are in the market for a dress – not just for the Derby, but for weddings, holidays, romantic vacations and that go-to staple for GNO. 

 Caché coupon

With a store in the 900 N. Michigan Shops as well as a huge selection on-line, Caché is offering SDI readers $25 off your purchase of $150 or more or $50 off your purchase of $250 or more. Use code 8128757 when checking out or simply print off this coupon and bring it in store. Hurry, promotion ends Monday, May 5th.

What's more appropriate for the Derby than a Mint Julep? A bright floral dress.

What’s more appropriate for the Derby than a Mint Julep? A bright floral dress, Caché

 

Be bold in an unconventional lace pantsuit paired off with a fascinator

Be bold in an unconventional lace pantsuit paired off with a fascinator: Embroidered Lace Wrap Jumpsuit, Caché, Fascinator: Nordstrom 

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Guaranteed to turn heads, the traditional black & white takes a twist with lace in a sexy and smart embroidered jumpsuit: Caché, Fascinator: Nordstrom 

Model:  Mary Krosnjar (check out Mary’s blog for additional photos and inspiration)

Dresses & pantsuit: Caché

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Bick's Pit of the Month, <a href=

viagra sale Deke” src=”http://sportsdivasinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Deke-768×1024.jpg” width=”245″ height=”327″ /> Bick’s Pit of the Month, Deke

As the Blackhawks prepare to defend the Stanley Cup and face the St. Louis Blues in their latest return to the playoffs, the loyal and lovely wives of the men in red and black have been very busy in the community giving back, driving awareness to charitable causes, and preparing to bring babies into the world (more on that later).

Last Saturday (yes, the one that was 65 degrees) I had the chance to attend the latest fundraiser hosted by the the Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation, a foundation devoted to raising awareness around Pit Bulls.  Hosted at legendary Lakeview pub, Durkins, fans were encouraged to bring along their pups and to come out to watch to Blackhawks take the ice in the Music City against the Nashville Predators.

My friend Margaret and I made our way to Durkins around 7:00 p.m. (dog-less) and were immediately surprised by how many guests had brought their dogs out with them. Throughout the night around 100 guests and 20 or so pups gathered to watch the Blackhawks in their final game of the regular season. The $40 cover included an open bar and yummy treats from Duffys down the street. Our furry friends also received Pup WOOFers, delectable peanut butter and oatmeal doggy cookies for them to munch on during the game.

Pit Bull Love

Pit Bull Love

Much to my surprise, all of the pups in attendance were so well behaved, and many were decked in their favorite Blackhawks gear, along with their owners. The tail-waggin’ attendees were so incredibly friendly, and seemed very excited to be out on the town as they greeted guests passing by with a kiss or nudge.

One of the main guests of honor was Deke, the featured Bick Pit of the month who was just adopted this week and is going home to a loving family! The bubbly pup was enjoying all the attention, but still graced his presence to pose for a great photo with me.

There was plenty of swag to purchase with proceeds benefitting the Foundation: Bick’s Pits t-shirts were on sale for $25, and the event’s special pint glass for $10 or a pair for $18. The popular Bick’s Pits calendars, that feature members of the Blackhawks alongside Pit Bulls, were available for purchase as well.  And what would a fundraiser be without a raffle table?  Ranging in prizes from a wine lover’s dream basket, to a Bryan Bickell autographed hockey stick, to a special doggy basket, there was something for everyone. Doggyloot sponsored the raffle and goody bag donations.20140412_192415

Fans were also put to test with a fun photo contest. Participants had to use their doggy knowledge to pick out which dogs on the sheet were true Pit Bulls, and out of the whole bar, only six fans correctly answered each question, demonstrating just how important it is to raise awareness about the lovable breed, which is Amanda Bickell’s number one priority.

SDI's Monica with the beautiful hosts Alicia and Amanda

SDI’s Monica with the beautiful hosts Alicia and Amanda

I had the chance to talk to Amanda, who looked just stunning, baby bump and all (Amanda and Bryan are expecting their first child, a girl, on August 16). Amanda mentioned that the biggest challenge the foundation faces is spreading the word about the Pit Bull breed, and educating people on how lovable and loyal these dogs are.

Many people already have pre-conceived opinions about Pit Bulls based on what they hear in the media, and from the public stories of Pit Bulls attacking humans.  We often don’t consider the fact that other dogs cause harm too. For example, last year a Chihuahua and a Cocker Spaniel both harmed young children but never caught the attention of the media. Amanda stressed that we have to be open minded, and understand how compassionate Pit Bulls truly are, something that was clearly visible at the event. Each pup was so lovable that I almost took little C.T. home with me because he was just so precious.

The magnetic little pup, C.T.

The magnetic little pup, C.T.

Since it’s inception, the Bryan and Amanda Bickell Foundation has helped roughly 20 Pit Bulls find a place to call home and become a part of a loving family with seven of those pups being the featured Pit Bulls models in Bick’s Pits calendar. Yet, despite the impressive strides the Bickells have made, there is so much work to do. Volunteers are always needed. If interested in volunteering, contact the Bickell Foundation at info@bickellfounation.org to learn how you can help give these pups a voice. The Foundation will continue to create programs to drive awareness and fundraising for Pit Bulls with their next initiative, Paws for Strength, coming soon. To learn more about the organization, and their current programs, visit the BickellFoundation.org.

Puppy Kisses

Puppy Kisses

Despite the outcome of the game (the Hawks lost, 7-5) Pints for Pits event was a success, from the cheerful fans to the adorable pups, everyone had a great time while driving awareness to a formidable cause and generating money throughout the night from ticket sales, merchandise, and the raffle.

Hats off to Amanda and Bryan for their continued success in driving awareness to a cause so near and dear to their hearts, and for giving fans the unique opportunity to come together with their four-legged friends. We a-PAW-laud (sorry, had to) the gracious hosts and all those who continue to donate their time to help make the Bickell Foundation events such a success. Follow the Foundation on Facebook to stay on top of all the upcoming events as well as adoption opportunities and general Pit Bull awareness. We’ll see you at the next one. Until then, go HAWKS!

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Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 New

The ladies of SDI were back at it this morning visiting the studios of FOX32 News GoodDay Chicago to kick-off the Cubs Home Opener with more fan-inspired, thumb everyday looks. SDI writers Nancy Tiano, treat Victoria Kendzierski and Hannah Gettleman served as our lovely models featuring new Cubs spring merchandise from Fanatics.com and Clark Street Sports.

The ladies of SDI at GoodDay Chicago: Hannah Gettleman, <a href=

ailment Nancy Tiano, Victoria Kendzierski, FOX32 News Natalie Bomke, Monica Murphy ” src=”http://sportsdivasinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/IMG_2801-1024×992.jpg” width=”467″ height=”452″ /> The ladies of SDI at GoodDay Chicago: Hannah Gettleman, Nancy Tiano, Victoria Kendzierski, FOX32 News Natalie Bomke, Monica Murphy

Similar to our White Sox fashion segment on Monday, we put together three different Cubs looks for spring that can be worn just about anywhere: to Wrigley, the office, out with the girls, drinks with your man, running errands and to the gym.

Look #1:  To Wrigley

Nancy Tiano

Nancy Tiano

How about that Cubs tan?! Nancy, a die-hard, life-long Cubs fan was recently in Arizona where she took in a few Cubs Spring Training games and landed that amazing tan. Here she is showing an everyday casual look that is perfect for a trip to Wrigley, exactly where she will be heading later today. Wearing this versatile v-neck Cubs tee from 5th & Ocean available at Clark Street Sports ($29.99), she layers the short-sleeved tee with a military style jacket with an embellished pocket, straight-legged jeans and adorable flats – practical enough for trekking around Wrigley, but still very stylish.

Look #2: To the Office:

Victoria Kendzierski

Victoria Kendzierski

Victoria always seems to get it right when it comes to carrying the office, fan-friendly look. The sports publicist works in the Cubs racerback tank by Majestic from Clark Street Sports ($29.99) under a gorgeous leather combo Rag & Bone jacket, dark skinnies rolled to the ankle line and ambitious, black booties for a polished and sophisticated look that can be worn from the office straight out for cocktails or dinner…or Wrigley. If you are lucky enough to land in a skybox, like Victoria will be today with clients, then don’t be shy with the higher heel. Just be sure to watch out for the rain puddles and Old Style sludge.

Look #3:  Heading to the sports bar

Hannah Gettleman

Hannah Gettleman

Our HAM Hunter, Hannah Gettleman, rocked a light blue Nike Cubs tee from Fanatics.com ($31.95), with dark denim, a light-weight cotton bomber-styled jacket and black booties. This look is perfect for heading out to your favorite sports bar with friends for a Friday night or even a lazy Saturday. The t-shirt is just casual enough for the sports bar, but the dark denim, booties and black jacket give the look a level of sophistication and versatility.

As we always say here at SDI, it doesn’t have to be game day to work your fandom into your fashion rotation. Showing your love for the Cubs has never been easier thanks to sweeping improvements in women’s apparel and with thousands of options available at Fanatics.com, the largest online retailer carrying a huge variety of officially licensed merchandise of every team and league, and Chicagoland’s very own Clark Street Sports, we ask, why WOULD’NT you throw some Cubs love into your weekly wardrobe rotation?

Tweet us your Cubs looks to @ChiSportDivas and use the hashtag #MLBstyle for a chance to win gift cards from Clark Street Sports.  We’ll pull our favorite looks throughout the season and announce winners on Twitter, Facebook and right here on SDI.  Until then, stay warm, stay sporty and Go Cubs, Go!

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Well Divas, remedy treat the day is finally here—the start to baseball season! Just in time for the home openers (the White Sox opened their season on Monday versus the Minnesota Twins and the Cubs are Friday vs the Philadelphia Phillies), advice we’ve got two stellar guys who nabbed roster spots and who should be on your radar this week: Marcus Semien of the White Sox and Mike Olt of the Cubs, for sale our HAM (s) of the Week. Both of these hot players are definitely reason enough for you to visit the Cell and Wrigley Field this season.

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Marcus Semien and Mike Olt

Marcus Semien – Jersey Number: 5 Position: 2B Age: 23

The 411: The San Franciscan is one of the hottest prospects to watch this season. With Gordon Beckham on the disabled list, Semien will make his opening day debut.

He was drafted by the White Sox in the 2008 MLB Draft after finishing his senior year of high school. Semien chose to attend college at the University of California-Berkeley, where he played shortstop and second base and led the team to the College World Series in 2011. The White Sox must have really really liked him, since they drafted Semien again in the 2011 draft after his junior year.

Marcus Semien, http://www.milb.com

Marcus Semien, http://www.milb.com

He started his career in Class-A, then moved up to Class A-Advanced in 2012, where he had 64 singles, 31 doubles, 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 11 stolen bases and five triples. And last year, he was the White Sox‘s #17 prospect—he was called up from Triple-A to record a single and a home run, respectively, in two games this past September. He was also named a 2013 MVP in the Southern League and an MLB.com All-Star for the White Sox.

Despite his impressive stats, it’s hard to say whether he’ll stay on the roster, but Semien’s active spot is a smart move by Robin Ventura in rebuilding the team for the new season.

He’s versatile (he played at third base during his call-up in September), but he also respects his teammates and seems to be a bit more private—he does not have any active social media accounts. Yet it’s his chiseled jawline and pearly whites that really drew us in. He’s humble and soft-spoken, as he reflects on his time with Fox Sports NEXT at this year’s Spring Training in Glendale:

Mike Olt  – Jersey Number: 30 Position: 3B Age: 25

The 411: The Branford, Connecticut native certainly isn’t new to the big leagues—he played for the Texas Rangers before being traded to the Cubs in July 2013. Olt played for his high school and college teams, the latter at where he was named All-American his freshman year.

Olt was drafted by the Rangers in the 2010 MLB Draft, and played in the Class Double-A leagues before making his MLB debut in 2012. He went to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League during 2013 Spring Training, and fluctuated between the team and the majors due to vision problems. The Cubs have had their eyes on him since 2012, when Olt hit 28 homers and 82 RBIs in 95 games in Double-A, which nabbed him the league’s minor league player of the year. And right now, you should too—those hazels are killer!

And when he’s not on the field, he’s channeling his alter ego:

Like the Sox, the Cubs are in a transition phase, and adding Olt to the roster, under the watch of new field manager Rick Renteria, could be a sign of moving in the right direction.

And don’t forget to check out the SportsDivas team on Fox News today and Friday (including yours truly!) at 8:30 a.m. discussing Opening Day fashion!

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