How Women’s Football is Building Brands and the Future - 5 Key Takeaways

Organisations have been using football as a platform to promote their business and boost their brands as far back as the 19th century.

Organisations have been using football as a platform to promote their business and boost their brands as far back as the 19th century. 

The relationship between football and businesses has grown dramatically since then and today encompass a wide multitude of dual-beneficial forms of sponsorships, advertisement and marketing.

Only very recently, inline with the rise in popularity of the game, has women's football also started to emerge as a key environment for organisations to invest in, to reach their key target audiences.

In this feature we look at how the rapid rise of women’s football has helped organisations boost their brands.

A Growing Audience

The women’s game is growing all around the world. With 993.5 million viewers, the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup was the most watched format of the competition in history - a significant 30% increase from the previous world cup in Canada, 2015. The 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship continued the growing audience figures seen at the World Cup, where more than 23 million viewers watched the final, in the UK alone. 

To build on this, UEFA statistics show that the group stages alone generated 152.4 million interactions across social media platforms. A truly growing sport, across key consumer channels.

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

993.5 million viewers watched the tournament, a 30% increase on the previous tournament.

2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship

23 million people watched the final of the tournament, just in the UK, with global figures also skyrocketing.

UEFA Women's Euros Social Media Success

152.4 million interactions in just the group stages across all social media platforms.

Different Brands for a Different Audience 

The 2022 Women’s European Championships were groundbreaking in more ways than just the viewing figures. They were the first tournament where sponsorships were tailored to fans of women’s football, rather than as an add-on to the men’s sponsorship. 

The competition saw brands such as LEGO, Pandora, Visa and Heineken partner with the tournament to reach this unique audience, in deals that boosted the brands perception worldwide and provided key revenue investment in the women’s game. The importance that these brands place on the women’s game is a sign of things to come in leagues and other competitions. 

A Unique Audience for a Unique Sport

Although most sports, including football, tend to have the same rules for both men and women, there is a stark contrast in how men and womens’ sport is perceived. 

A 2018 Nielsen study, analysing the value of women’s sport, showed that female sports were perceived as more ‘inspiring’, more ‘competitive’, more ‘family oriented’ and less ‘money-driven’  than men’s football - aspects which can be of real reputational value for brands.

With a differing perception of women’s sport compared to mens’, it’s perhaps no surprise that women’s sport also has a unique audience. In a report leading up to the 2019 World Cup, Nielsen found that women’s football fans are more likely to be female than the average football fans, but 54% of women’s football fans are male.

As well as having a more even split than the mens’ game, fans of the women’s game are more likely to have a disposable income, have families and be key-decision-makers in regards to making purchases for the family

Source: Nielsen Sports Women's Sport Research 2018

How Women's Sport is Perceived, Compared to Men's


Women's sports/athletes: 36%

Men's sports/athletes: 26%


Women's sports/athletes: 32%

Men's sports/athletes: 17%


Women's sports/athletes: 25%

Men's sports/athletes: 13%


Women's sports/athletes: 26%

Men's sports/athletes: 8%

Equality: Creating a Better World and Brand 

Businesses across the world are increasingly understanding that their role goes beyond monetary profit, with many of the most successful businesses investing in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well as Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) strategies to ensure the longevity of their organisation. 

In “The Fan Project”, a report released by the Sports Innovation Lab, research found that fans of women’s sport tend to buy from brands who align to their own values, showing that investing in CSR and EDI projects can boost business.

For businesses, sponsoring and investing in women’s football can provide more than just a platform to build a brand, it can act as a catalyst for change and function as a platform to tackle wider societal issues relating to diversity and equality. 

"Fans of women’s sport tend to buy from brands who align to their own values."

'The Fan Project' Sports Innovation Lab research report

Find the Right Entry Point - With SPORTFIVE

Any form of sponsorship, whether in sports or not, needs to align with the overall business and marketing strategy and how the business wants to position its brand. Sports sponsorship, and in particular sponsorship in women’s football can help position the brand to a loyal, social and highly influential audience. 

At SPORTFIVE, we’ve helped brands such as LEGO, Pandora and Gillette Venus to enter the women’s football sphere and reach millions of members of their target audience. We connect brands with rightsholders and talent to activate an ever-growing fanbase within women's football. By enabling brands to work alongside empowering female athletes and influential rightsholders, women's sport as a whole will continue to grow and thrive, alongside the brands that support it.

With the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup on the horizon, there's never been a better time to build brands together with women's sport.

Read our Success Stories and find out how sports marketing can boost your business.

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