Wider range of women’s sport sectors presents viable commercial prospect for brand partnerships

While there has been an increase in the commercial profile of several women’s sport properties and competitions, the sports industry is beginning to see an upward trend in the rate of athlete brand partnerships from multiple sport sectors, with a year-on-year (Y-O-Y) increase in the number of deals struck between brands and the top women athletes in world sport. Among 64 athlete portfolios analysed, 41 partnerships were struck in 2019, an increase of over a fifth on the previous year, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Patrick Kinch, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “There is now a growing viability for brands within women’s sport sponsorship owing to the growing popularity of its athletes.

“We are beginning to see more and more brands commit to partnerships with women athletes from a range of different nationalities and sporting sectors. Golfer Lydia Ko is entering the final years of her partnership with Parsons Xtreme Golf, estimated to be worth $2m annually until 2022. Partnerships such as this highlight the growing commercial possibilities that women athletes offer to brands, with lucrative partnerships no longer limited to tennis.”

Given the growing profile of women’s sport, with increases in viewers and greater attendances becoming more common, it is now the athletes who are providing brands with an opportunity to engage more closely with each sport’s respective audience. More specifically with a particular athlete’s fan base, as brands look to associate themselves with an athlete’s sporting success.

Kinch continues: “With $137m committed to just 64 athletes in 2021, and brands considering a more targeted approach to fan engagement during the pandemic, there is scope for the endorsement market, particularly in women’s sport, to continue growing in 2021 and into 2022.”

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