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Championing Women’s Sports: A Win-Win for Brands and Progress

In a dynamic world where the role of women in sports continues to evolve, sponsorship partnerships have emerged as a vital avenue for businesses to engage with passionate and active audiences.

During last year’s Sponsorship Mastery Summit, Wasserman’s President of Brands and Properties, Elizabeth Lindsey, provided a powerful message that underscored the growing importance of women in sports sponsorship, highlighting the significant opportunities it presents for brands. The rise of women’s sports not only reflects societal shifts but also offers brands a chance to make a meaningful impact while tapping into a lucrative market.

During Elizabeth’s keynote session, two quotes resonated profoundly from a study Wasserman had conducted that showed male athletes get paid 21 times more than women. Elizabeth pointed out

“… that means women have to get more than 80 percent of their revenue off the field of play, which means they work harder at it, and they’re better at it. If you look at the numbers, female athletes have engagement rates on social at almost 3x what men have. They are literally twice as good at engaging their fans and keeping them engaged. If you miss this trend, I promise you you’re missing out on a lot.”

Elizabeth underscored the tremendous potential of investing in women’s sports sponsorships. Female athletes demonstrate exceptional engagement rates and dedication off the field, making them valuable partners for brands seeking authentic connections with their audiences.

Just look at Buick’s “See Her Greatness” campaign with Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and other women’s basketball starts that was pinned to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships.

Buick’s efforts yielded significant results, both in terms of brand recognition and impact on the women’s basketball community, achieving 497 million impressions, and 7.2 billion hashtag interactions. And, it was a boon to Buick with a 2x higher purchase consideration for the brand – Wow.

This tracks with Elizabeth’s insights at the Summit, which shed light on the evolving sponsorship landscape, emphasizing customization, technology utilization, and creative asset management. By aligning sponsorships with clear objectives and leveraging relationships, brands can maximize the impact of their partnerships in today’s rapidly changing world.

Another example of progress is Molson’s recent announcement of a multi-year partnership with the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) through its “See My Name.” The campaign introduces an updated jersey design aimed at boosting visibility and recognition for the league’s players, showcasing Molson’s dedication to supporting women’s sports and amplifying their presence in the industry.

However, despite these examples of progress in sponsorship, the challenges Elizabeth mentioned persist, particularly in sports that continue to be male-dominated like motorsports.

The lack of visible role models and clear pathways for female athletes in motorsports presents a barrier, fair or not, for brands seeking to invest in this space.

Nevertheless, with strategic initiatives and support, there is immense potential to drive change and create opportunities for women in these sports.

There is reason for optimism in motorsports with the collaboration between Charlotte Tilbury and the F1 Academy. The beauty brand will spotlight F1 Academy’s female drivers, like French native Lola Lovinfosse. The goal is to inspire broader awareness for women in the sport.

The increasing prominence of women’s sports and the evolving sponsorship landscape underscore the importance of brands aligning with this trend. Investing in women’s sports not only aligns with values of diversity and inclusivity but also offers brands a chance to make a positive social impact while reaping significant business benefits. As relationships remain key to sponsorship success, brands that embrace this shift stand to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Like Elizabeth said at the Summit, “You can do good and you can do good business at the same damn time.”

More brands need to embrace women’s sports, particularly those that are dominating men’s sports.

To learn more about the transformative power of women’s sports sponsorship and gain valuable insights into the evolving landscape of sponsorship marketing, join us at the Sponsorship Mastery Summit, taking place from October 2-4 in Chicago. Explore cutting-edge strategies, connect with industry leaders, and discover new opportunities to elevate your brand’s sponsorship initiatives.