Women’s sport is now gaining in popularity in Australia and overseas, so it makes good sense for a business to get on board and follow the trend that’s seeing brands leaping into sponsoring women's sport - from football to cricket, tennis and netball and beyond.
The reason is simple: Brands have used the high-calibre performances and technical skills of sportsmen to enhance their products, so why not do the same for women?
Consider this, for example, Australian women’s tennis has enjoyed a banner season, with Ash Barty leading the way with a World No.1 ranking in 2019, and 14 women gaining significant rises in rankings. Barty stunned everyone when she won the French Open, then the US Open.
She later became the first Australian woman at No.1 at the end of the year, thanks to her win in Shenzhen at the WTA Finals. The list of sports that amazing women are playing is long, and includes:
Women in Sport: A Much Neglected Group Gains Ground
Sportswomen have in the past been a much-neglected group that has struggled to gain TV coverage or attract serious moneyed sponsorship. Although, according to a report in The Guardian(1), in Australia, more positive portrayals in the media, and increasing TV coverage has boosted interest in women’s sport by almost 50 per cent. So, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to both support women and make a profit.
However, while the Australian women’s soccer team, the Matildas, won the right to equal pay this year, professional female sports stars are paid far less than sportsmen. But it was only in 2012 that women were for the first time permitted to compete in every Olympic sport, and since then the rules in other sports have changed, so change is coming. In 2017, there were over two million women playing rugby worldwide. All of this could be good for business.
The Power of Sportswomen
Women and men who play sports are generally high achievers who often go on to achieve success in business. The attributes that make a person succeed in business are the same as in sports, and women are no exception:
They can lead a team
They have a passion for succeeding
They have confidence in their abilities
They are single-mindedness in pursuing goals
They are resilient and learn from setbacks and mistakes
Sportswomen and Advertising Campaigns
Nike launched Dream Crazy, a campaign in support of Colin Kaepernick, the US footballer known for refusing to stand for the national anthem as a protest against injustices. Nike followed that up with Dream Crazier in 2019, a campaign that shone a bright light on women’s exceptional athletic performance and those female athletes who busted barriers, and inspired generations of other women to chase their sporting dreams.
The commercial, narrated by tennis icon Serena Williams, was launched for the Academy Awards and was shown during the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament in France. The video clip went viral. Since going live in February, Dream Crazier and others that were inspired by it have garnered millions more engagements and views.
For instance, last June, Nike’s Twitter version of their Dream Crazier commercial had 31.6M views and 655,000 engagements.
Women’s Sport Attracting Crowds
In terms of attracting crowds, the growth in interest in women’s sport and its march towards the mainstream opens up new opportunities for many businesses, including hotels and bars. Showing women’s sport on the screens in such places attracts both women and men.
Bars and pubs are nop longer packed to the rafters with men holding beers, watching sportsmen on TV. Women in pubs and women in sports represent a whole new opportunity for businesses.
There are many more women commentators on Australian TV channels covering all sports, not just women’s, and this is making a big difference in people’s perceptions of both women and the sports they play. The commentators are as confident and knowledgeable about sports as their male counterparts, and they see the irrelevance of gender.
Despite the controversy, the bronze statue of the fabulous photograph of Tayla Harris's AFLW kick, unveiled in Melbourne this year, was a huge boost for women who want to realise their sporting dreams.
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including home improvement, financial support and health care. He has used his knowledge and experience to work for clients as diverse as Simple Biz, Cosh Living and Me Bank to help them reach their business goals.