Growth of Women’s Sports
The ability of female athletes to attract significant audiences on television, benefit sponsors, and attract tens of thousands of fans to every event has been demonstrated time and time again over the past decade. Women’s sports allow brands to position themselves as modern and progressive, attracting new audiences. The same Nielsen Sports poll says that women’s sports are generally viewed more favourably than their male counterparts: they are considered less money-oriented, less prone to cheating, more challenging, and much more family-oriented.
Since the cost of rights, both for advertising revenue and for subscriptions, depends on the size of the audience, women’s sports broadcasts on television must attract a significant number of viewers to generate considerable income. The value of these offerings is modest compared to men’s sports but growing. Commercial activity in women’s sports is still tiny (compared to men’s sports), but it multiplies. The truth is that women’s sports represent an exciting business opportunity that most companies are missing out on, especially brands operating on a smaller budget, for which participation in many men’s sports is simply too competitive and expensive.
More women at the helm of leagues, teams, sports governing bodies and media companies will change the values reflected in sports and keep female athletes off the hook, said Julie Foody, a new investor in Angel City FC football team. Former Team USA star. This was the topic of a series of talks on the future of the sport by Aspen Institutes, at a time when organisations such as the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the Women’s National Soccer League (NWSL) and Athletes Unlimited (AU) are introducing new professional sports models. Coming years will be significant for women’s sports: the Women’s Six Nations Championship, the Women’s World Cup, the Women’s Cricket World Cup and the World Lifetime Netball Championship, not to mention the many other competitions in football, hockey, volleyball, matches in curling and golf, many of which are broadcast for the first time.
Adidas recently became a founding partner of United for Girls, partnering with the US Football Federation to empower women and girls from disadvantaged communities. Angel City and Nike donate a sports bra to low-income communities for every seat sold. The lack of sports bras is a significant barrier for women to exercise. The value of partnerships with women’s sports teams and female athletes is likely to increase.
Women’s sports represent a missed opportunity for brands, with only 0.4% of sponsorship dollars going to women’s sports and female athletes. Sports brands such as Nike and Adidas have a long history of supporting female athletes, but traditional brands have traditionally invested in their sponsorships in supporting men’s teams and athletes. Fortunately, the tide seems to be changing, and previous years saw a significant increase in sponsorship of women’s sports, especially from large corporations.