Emergence of unique partnerships demonstrative of changing commercial landscape in women’s sport

The latest analysis of the commercial landscape of women’s sport shows that the emergence of unique partnerships for athletes, properties and competitions, specifically engaging in women’s sport highlights its growing commercial value, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Patrick Kinch, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “There is currently an increasingly common trend across women’s sport where more and more brands are committing themselves to exclusive sponsorship partnerships.

“There are several recent examples of this, including credit card firm Visa’s commitment to UEFA women’s football until 2025, with their current agreement reported to be worth $4m annually. Such commitments demonstrate that the increasing popularity of women’s sport and its growing audience is convincing brands that women’s sport can provide them with a viable commercial partnership.”

While not only seeing an increase in unique partnerships, there has been a raw value increase in sponsorship agreements at specific competitions within the usual four-year tournament cycle. The FIFA Women’s World Cup saw its national supporter sponsorship package garner an estimated $12.76m from six partnerships at the 2019 tournament in France, compared to $1.5m from three partnerships four years previously in Canada.

This shows that there are opportunities emerging for brands across the sponsorship sector, which has exploded in popularity in recent years, while also highlighting the growing value of such tournaments. With international properties such as FIFA and UEFA seeing an increase in unique sponsorship for their women’s game, it is likely that similar unique partnerships within domestic properties will become more frequent, depending on the continued growth of viewers of women’s football and sport in general.

Kinch continues: “Evidence of this is already emerging, with Premier League banking partner, Barclays, committing to a title sponsorship agreement with the FA Women’s Super League. Such moves by brands such as Visa and Barclays, may have the domino affect of encouraging properties such as the FA and UEFA to diversify their sponsorship rights to a more gender split offering. Such a development would, however, be dependent on the continued growth of women’s sport, and the immediate financial implications of diversifying sponsorship rights.”

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