The NFL drafted some new ambassadors this season.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — daughter of a football coach, once engaged to an NFL player, big gridiron fan.
Olympic gold medal swimmer Summer Sanders — guru of fantasy football.
Then there’s this 13-year-old girl named Gracie Hunt.
Recognize the last name?
Like Rice, Sanders and a slew of other notable women, the eldest child of Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and his wife, Tavia, stars in this year’s advertising campaign for NFL women’s apparel.
Gracie’s ad broke nationally on Tuesday in the September issue of Seventeen magazine.
She appears alongside friends Tiffanie and Brittanie Snyder, whose parents own the Washington, D.C. football team.
The NFL has sold women’s apparel for more than a decade, recognition that 45 percent of its fans are female. Gracie is part of a new charm offensive to get girls her age into a new line available at Walmart.
In June, she and her mom went to New York City for a fuss-over by makeup artists and stylists before being handed to photographer Daniel Jackson, whose work has been seen in Vogue.
“Amazing,” Gracie said by phone this week, Tavia on the line as well. “It was really fun and exciting.”
The eighth-grader with a wide and pretty smile may borrow some genes from her mom, a former Miss Kansas USA.
Asked if she’d like to model someday, Gracie said, “I’d like to, maybe, if my parents let me.”
“We will see,” interjected Mom, who made her first TV commercial when she was 9. “We’ll take it slow and see how it goes.”
Tavia would rather have us know about Gracie’s diverse interests, that she plays piano and top-notch soccer and that she was interested in archery long before “The Hunger Games” made it cool.
(Just minutes before they phoned from Colorado, Gracie had a scary encounter in the yard with a black bear while she was practicing her archery. Making a good call, she yelled at the bear instead of shooting at it with a blunt-tipped arrow. The beast ran off.)
Gracie is no poser pigskin fan. She gets to go to all the Chiefs games with her family. “Football is one of my most favorite things to watch,” she said. “I’ve grown up around it, so it’s just a part of my life.”
It’s no surprise, really, that she is a poised, well-versed ambassador for the NFL brand, referring to the clothing she modeled as “soft,” “blinged-out,” “flattering,” “very comfortable” and “very hip.”
She sounds very much like her mother, who starred in her own ad last season and appears again in one debuting in the October issue of Vogue. This year she posed with her friend Charlotte Jones Anderson, daughter of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Other ads featuring Melania Trump, “Dancing With the Stars” pro Peta Murgatroyd, and a host of NFL wives and female executives hit fashion and lifestyle magazines next month.
“Just a few years ago I think the NFL’s eyes were really opened to the fact that the women’s industry is just huge, and we really hadn’t tapped into it in a big way,” Tavia said.
“They had the vision to see that guys will wear the same jersey every year, long after the player has left the team. But women want what’s new and fashionable, and we all know we’re all looking for whatever’s coming out this season and will buy and re-buy.”
Gracie couldn’t wait to see her ad, which she hadn’t seen yet when we spoke with her.
Asked if she planned to send it out on Twitter, she replied:
“Absolutely. My mom will.”
To reach Lisa Gutierrez, call 816-234-4987 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.