Having been virtually ignored by brands in the past, women’s sports and their overall fan engagement are now on the rise – and with it so do the opportunities for sponsors. As a matter of fact, investments in women and men’s sports are far from being equal, but the latest trends will likely change the sponsorship landscape.
Indeed, a recent Repucom study shows that across all markets, 43% of women are interested in watching sports on TV. While this figure is still considerably lower than the men’s (69%), women’s interest in watching sports is growing slowly but consistently.
Investments in women and men’s sports are far from being equal, but the latest trends will likely change the sponsorship landscape
The research also unveiled that the main reason for this change is the increasing participation of girls in sports at school and the influence of their general environment. Girls involved in sports activities from a young age are more likely to develop fan behavior for sports later in their lives. This is where brands need to step in, since they are the ones pushing and elaborating fan engagement and integrity with the brand and the sport.
So why should brands rethink their sports sponsorship strategy and start investing into female athletes and fans rather than their male counterparts? Here are 6 good reasons:
- Lower Expenses: as with every new trend, organisations can create partnerships with far less investment than in men’s sports since there has been a lack of investment in the past.
- Female athletes come with a huge fan base: since almost half of intercollegiate athletes are women that are gaining popularity on all continents and across all markets, admiring female fans especially want to see more of their idols.
- Women have financial power: according to professional services firm EY, by 2018, the global incomes of women will reach $18 trillion and therefore drive 70 – 80% of all consumer purchasing.
- Women are more willing to spend their money: women aged 30 to 49 spend more money on clothing for sports than men, on average $188 per year (as a comparison: men spend on average $156 per year).
- Women are the largest source of new fans: especially in football, there is no other demographic group that creates more new fans than women. Being a sports fan is not only a male thing anymore!
- You can use the same media channels: Women use the same media to keep informed about their sports as men do, so there is no need for reinventing marketing here. Now, it is just about understanding the different triggers of fan engagement between male and female fans!
Supporting women’s sports is not a CSR activity! It is an actual market, holding lots of opportunities for brands to provide great ROI. As media coverage increases, more and more marketers will be convinced to invest into this business driver. Nike, with their video starring leading female Indian athletes, is already one of them. Brands such as P&G with their “Thank you, mum” campaign (read more on this in our “Rio 2016” article) discover the power of women in sports.
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