The Global Rise of Women’s Sport Platforms

The Global Rise of Women’s Sport Platforms

With the recent announcement that the BBC and Sky Sports are investing £7-8M per season in the broadcasting rights of the Women’s Super League, showcasing 62 live matches next season, we take a look at how the profile of women’s sport on a global scale is rising at a rapid rate and how companies have a real opportunity to capitalise on the steep increase in viewership numbers to raise their brand profile.

In 2020 CBS announced that NWSL domestic TV audiences were up nearly 500 per cent since the first year of broadcasting live matches on their channels. A whopping 1.2 Billion sports fans tuned in to watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 which undoubtedly has translated into domestic viewership numbers rapidly increasing also.

And it is not just the beautiful game that is getting all the attention…. In 2019, The Women’s Rugby World Cup broke viewership records with 857 million people around the world watching the action via World Rugby’s network of rights-holding broadcast partners. Viewership of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 clocked up a staggering 1.2 Billion video views via ICC digital channels. The fighting pride of Ireland, Katie Taylor took the boxing world by storm with her impressive defeat of Miriam Gutierrez, with 2 Million viewers tuning in to watch the toe-to-toe action.

In short, the profile of all Women’s Sport is on the rise, and quicker than ever before..

What does this mean for brands looking to align themselves with the fastest emerging sports properties on the planet right now?

Some forward thinking brands are seizing the opportunity ahead of the curve; the likes of P&G and Sure, Verizon, Budweiser, Google and Nike all capitalising huge sponsorship association and advertising opportunities with the NWSL. Back in 2018, Visa penned a seven-year partnership agreement with UEFA to secure marquee sponsorship rights at for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s Euro.

A spokesperson for Visa said at the time.

"It is an exciting time for women's football. Twenty-one million women and girls participate in the beautiful game across Europe and at Visa we want to celebrate every single one of them. We are proud to announce Visa's ground-breaking partnership with UEFA to support and accelerate the growth of women's football throughout Europe. We want to inspire, enable and leave a legacy to girls and young women to follow their dreams. With UEFA, we plan to bring women's football to the forefront because at Visa we believe in acceptance everywhere, from the pitch to the boardroom."

Fast forward three years and the announcement of CBS’s steep increase in viewership numbers of their domestic leagues in 2020, the BBC and Sky Sports now supporting the WSL live on TV next year, and with over 78% of women in England alone participating in some form of sport at least twice in the last 28 days. It looks a shrewd move from Visa, and the brands that followed, to capture the entry to the exciting sporting platforms that Women’s Sports Media can offer.

In closing, over 70% of all household purchasing decisions are made by women, so brands looking to align themselves with sports platforms that Women are interested in will undoubtedly help raise the affinity with women-focused brands and inject a significant number of incremental sales to the bottom line via this audience.

We for one at WSM are proud to be a part of supporting the professionalisation of Women’s Sports globally. Ensuring that women young and old have the opportunity to play the beautiful games from grass roots to the elite level. It is an exciting time for Women and Sport, but just as exciting for forward thinking advertisers too.

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