The Fans Behind the Football Revolution - An Analysis of UEFA Women’s Champions League Fans

Women's football is growing rapidly. At the heart of this growth are the fans - but who are the fans behind this football revolution?

In this feature, we take a look back at some of the key fan metrics from the 2022/23 UEFA Women's Champions League group stages ahead of the new season.

The journey so far

The top European women’s club competition has had an interesting journey.

The first edition was held in 2001, then under the name of the UEFA Women’s Cup. Since then, eight different sides have been crowned champions, with the tournament officially becoming ‘The UEFA Women’s Champions League’ for the 2009/10 season. 

Ahead of the 2021/22 season the competition underwent radical reformation, which saw a 16-team group stage introduced, as well as a significant increase in both the financial rewards for competing clubs and the television coverage of the tournament. 

At the heart of this reformation was the fans. Interest for the women’s game has surged in recent years, with this new format providing greater access to the exciting competition for fans. 

With the help of the 2022-23 UEFA Women’s Football Mid-Season Report, this feature aims to take a closer look at the fans leading the women’s football revolution and why they could be crucial to brands in the years to come.

Source: 2022-23 UEFA Women's Football Mid-Season Report

Numbers from the 2022/23 group stages

The group stages of the 2022/23 UEFA Women’s Champions League marked the first major European Women’s football event since the historic UEFA EURO 2022, which saw record-breaking numbers throughout.

The tournament had a resounding impact on attendance figures and interest amongst fans across Europe’s top leagues, with England and Germany, the tournament’s two finalists, seeing 267% and 261% attendance growth in their respective leagues. 

This impact can also be seen in the UEFA Women's Champions League, where teams benefited from playing more games in bigger stadiums, with venues like the Spotify Camp Nou hosting the highest attended match in the 2022/23 group stages, as 46,967 fans watched FC Barcelona beat FC Bayern München - a 156% attendance increase on 2021/22 group stage record. 

The final matchday of the UEFA Women’s Champions League saw Barcelona, Chelsea, Lyon and Slavia Praha all play at higher capacity stadiums contributing to a 390% year-on-year attendance increase. 

With the total group stage attendance for the competition seeing a 66% increase compared to the previous season, it’s clear to see that attendance figures will only continue to rise as more teams play in bigger stadiums.

49 967

Highest group stage match attendance 2022/23 (18,344 in 2021/22)

264 K

Total 2022/23 group stage attendance (158,939 in 2021/22)

5 506

Average group stage attendance 2022/23 (3,311 in 2021/22)

Source: 2022-23 UEFA Women's Football Mid-Season Report

A closer look at the fans

Sports fans are a notoriously loyal, engaged and important target group for many brands and women’s football fans are no different. 

Although they possess many of the traditional qualities that brands look for in fans, the 2022-23 UEFA Women’s Football Mid-Season Report shows that UEFA Women’s Champions League fans also have qualities that brands look for in other consumer groups. 

Unsurprisingly, the competition attracts a greater share of female fans, with 44% of UEFA Women’s Champions League fans being women, compared to 35% for the men’s competition, giving brands greater exposure to consumers who are traditionally seen as household decision makers. 

The competition also attracts a young audience with 77% of fans aged between 16-44, with the largest portion of fans (30%) aged between 25-34. 

Outside of sport, the fans have several key interests, with 61% of fans having an interest in Music and Technology, whilst Food and Beverage (59%), as well as Cinema (57%) are also key areas of interest.

  • 0 %

    Of UWCL fans have at least one child

  • 0 %

    Of UWCL fans are married or in a relationship

  • 0 %

    Of UWCL fans are high or medium income earners

Source: 2022-23 UEFA Women's Football Mid-Season Report

Brands, fans and the future

With women’s football becoming a more prominent force in the business world, particularly due to its power to attract different types of consumers to men’s football, many brands have turned to women’s football for sponsorship opportunities.  

Despite the success of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, some doubted whether women’s football was here to stay, but with attendance figures and engagement rates only rising, fans have carried their interest, optimism and unique consumer attributes into 2023 and beyond. 

The future of women’s football is at a very exciting point and with the game expected to continue to grow, those brands who understand the unique audience which it attracts are expected to reap the rewards for years to come.

Beyond the Match
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