Philadelphia’s Gets a Better Look at Mitts

PHILADELPHIA (June 6, 2002) — Heather Mitts’ head bobs up and down and all around on a spring, her hair tied into a ponytail, a black and white Select soccer ball under her right arm.

That’s Heather Mitts the bobblehead doll.

Then there’s the cover of June’s Philadelphia Magazine: Mitts in a see-through, $3,000 black Versace dress. Her hands on her hips, dirty blonde hair flowing, white teeth smiling, straps across the center of her body, bellybutton peeking through.

That’s Heather Mitts the sex symbol.

The bobblehead and the sex symbol, the two marketing tools of the Philadelphia Charge defender, called the “Anna Kournikova of women’s soccer,” and one of the “12 Most Eligible Philadelphians” in June’s Philadelphia Magazine.

“It is really cool, it’s amazing,” Mitts said of being on the cover of the magazine. “I went into Genuardi’s and seeing myself on the stand is kinda weird.

“People who might not know who we (the Charge) are, might see that and be a little more curious. Maybe want to come out to a game and obviously it’s probably going to target more people who aren’t our usual fan base. That’s a way to bring in more people to the game.”

Philadelphia Charge defender Heather Mitts on the cover of the June issue of Philadelphia Magazine. (Credit: Philadelphia Magazine)
The team will give out the bobblehead doll at Saturday’s game against the Washington Freedom. The team has already given out Lorrie Fair bobbleheads this season. The dolls are perfect for drawing young fans to the game.

The sexy picture of Mitts who has “the talent to match her 1,000-watt smile and model good looks,” according to Philly Mag, could do the trick of bringing fans away from the usual soccer mom and kid category to games.

The magazine targets Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line, which is already one of the Charge’s top drawing areas.

“It’s probably more cool for her than anything else,” said Charge general manager Tim Murphy. “It’s a very nice profile for her, she’s a very classy person. All along, her biggest assets have been she’s a terrific athlete, she’s a very poised, classy, individual…she’s been able to create a great profile for herself and she certainly is extremely attractive….we’re very proud of her.”

The 23-year-old Cincinnati native, who turns 24 on June 9, is up with Surivivor: Africa contestant Kim Powers, 30, as the most well-known person on the singles list, according to Philly Mag’s Richard Rys, who co-authored the special section.

“We knew that she was easily the most high profile female athlete in town right now,” Rys said. “She’s well known for being a great soccer player and also being attractive and being single as has been reported many times in the media. We thought it would be a perfect match for what we were doing.

“She has a pretty broad fan base….she physically fits the bill as far as a cover model would be concerned…(it was) pretty much a no-brainer.”

Also on the list from the local sports world is Sharon Swainson, the 30-something chief communications officer of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Mitts dated Phillies left-fielder Pat Burrell last year, a publicized relationship that boosted Mitts’ already-rising notoriety even more.

“I actually find it kind of comical, that people actually cared what was going on between he and I,” Mitts said. “I didn’t think it was that much because of me, I thought it was people wanted to talk about Pat.”

But plenty of people do want to talk about Mitts.

The University of Florida graduate is the only women’s soccer player under contract by sportswear company Fila. She gets a bonus every time she is on the cover of a magazine in Fila clothing. Philly Mag thought about letting Mitts wear Fila, she said, but this time, at least, Versace won out.

“I think it’s great for her career,” said Mitts’ agent Dave Bober, of Bober Associates, Inc. “It’s great that the magazine is supporting a female athlete in that way. It’s nice she’s being looked at as a person as well as an athlete.”

Mitts has her own web site- where she says she has gotten plenty of date offers since the magazine came out.

“I’ve had a lot of e-mails sent to me,” she said. “I’ll answer soccer questions, but if they’re asking me out, I’ll usually delete it.

Some things you need to know if you’re interested in Mitts: she hangs out in the Manayunk and Old City sections of Philadelphia; she looks for smart, funny and athletic guys; she likes sushi; and, according to the magazine, “you don’t have to be a power-hitting left-fielder to win her over.”