Investments in the USA
It is therefore not surprising that in the USA - after all the debates about equal rights, equal pay, diversity and integration - words are followed by deeds and massive investments are being made in women's sports. The list of investors of the women's football club Angel City FC, founded in 2021, includes Natalie Portman, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Garner, Serena Williams, Abby Wambach and Lindsey Vonn. The goal: to be profitable while fulfilling a mission.
The success of Angel City FC proves them right: the home games are regularly sold out with 22,000 spectators. The players get a share of the ticket revenue and get involved accordingly. They visit classrooms, talk to their fans and advertise their games on social media to attract spectators. Unlike many male professional athletes, they are much more approachable.
The global market for women's sports will almost triple by 2030
fans in Germany are interested in women's football
of all sponsors in women's football expect access to new target groups
Women's sport becomes a growth driver in the sports business
Success factors in women's sports
The accessibility and down-to-earth nature are true success factors for women's sports. It's all the more important to preserve these qualities and avoid women emulating the mistakes of previous male professional athletes. Women's sports serve as a likeable counterpoint to what men's sports, particularly men's football, sometimes lack, influencing many women and especially younger audiences.
According to PwC's Global Sports Survey, 42% of sponsors and investors are primarily interested in women's sports because it allows them to access a new customer base and positively impacts their own brand. Women's sports are highly appealing to businesses and according to a Nielsen survey, they are perceived as more inspiring, progressive and family-friendly than men's sports. Sponsors have the opportunity to reach new and younger audiences and position themselves on socially relevant issues.
Another success factor in women's sports is the changing fan base, which in turn transforms the fan experience, central to all sponsorship activities. This opens up space for new sponsors and other products to reach new target demographics with their advertising.
80% of all purchasing decisions are made by women (Source: Nielsen). Yet, a large portion of advertising is directed at men. Women's sports offer an immense potential to reach a highly affluent customer base with targeted and tailored messages.
Women's football on the rise in Germany
Nearly half of the football enthusiasts in Germany follow both men's and women's soccer, encompassing 19 million fans who exhibit a particularly high interest and awareness of women's soccer (Source: DFB Study with Two Circles).
Even the disappointing performance of the DFB women's team at the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand did not diminish the popularity of women's soccer. In the second group match against Colombia, 10.363 million viewers tuned in, accounting for over 60% market share. Strong viewership numbers persisted during the knockout stage. The final was watched by 5.37 million people, equivalent to a market share of 41.8%.
The trend of recent years has continued with German football fans having a great interest in both the Women's Bundesliga and the German Women's National Team. (Source: "FanQ" Study* "Women's Sports in Transition - Status Quo and Perspectives in Women's Football"). For the future, fans wish to see women's sports broadcast on TV more frequently. 61.2% of respondents support a mixed offering of men's and women's professional sports. 76.1% expect public broadcasters ARD and ZDF to invest more in broadcasting rights for women's football.
Stronger media presence for the Women's Bundesliga
In the 2023/24 season, the Women's Bundesliga is increasingly focused on expansion and growth. Google Pixel has taken over the naming rights for the Women's Bundesliga for four years. Games in the Google Pixel Women's Bundesliga will now be broadcast by four different providers: MagentaSport and the newly entered streaming service DAZN have the rights to show all 132 matches live. Additionally, ARD and ZDF have secured the broadcast of up to ten Women's Bundesliga games. Another clear signal that the Women's Bundesliga is attracting more and more viewers is the decision of many clubs to play their games in their 'original' home arenas. To ensure that the stadiums are close to full during live broadcasts, more and more clubs are offering season tickets for their women's team games.
Diverse opportunities in women's soccer
So, there is a lot happening in women's soccer in Germany. The fact that the development lags behind other countries like the USA, England, or Spain simultaneously presents many opportunities for investors and sponsors:
Building women's football, not replicating that of men.
Taking a pioneering and exemplary role in sustainability and equality through football.
Positioning themselves towards new target audiences.
Women's football is one of the fastest-growing sports worldwide. Now is the best time to not just accompany but also drive and shape the success story as a partner or sponsor. There are many possibilities, whether as a sponsor in the Women's Bundesliga at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, MSV Duisburg or at the Women's team of Borussia Dortmund.