The Year of Women’s Sport

Sport enthusiasts rejoice! 2023 is the year of women’s sport. From football to volleyball, women’s sports have been gaining momentum, skyrocketing them into the forefront of business’ minds. 

Here are some fun facts about women’s sports and how their increased popularity will affect the payments landscape. 

Increased engagement in women’s sports 

Historically, sports have been more popular with men due to a number of factors. In recent years, companies have been becoming more aware of the potential within women’s sports. Below are just a few sports showcased. 

Football

Football is a great example. The viewers are going up. For the women’s football final, the BBC reported a peak audience of 17.4 million viewers on their live coverage channel, making it the most-watched, televised women’s football match ever in the UK. With women’s football fans being more passionate than ever, leading a surge in brands rushing to partner with both teams and individual players. 

Cricket

Cricket has over 2.5 billion fans across the world, and the opening game of the 2020 ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup, in which Australia took on India, was watched in India by an average of 3.6 million fans, reaching a total of over 20 million. There was a 213% increase in viewership over the 2018 games, a stark increase. 

Rugby 

2.6 million viewers in the United Kingdom watched the final game of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Interestingly enough, 56% of the TV audience for this event was male! 

Netball

550,000 people in the United Kingdom watched the semifinal of the 2019 Netball World Cup, and that number should grow in the next few years. 

Who’s the new target audience? 

A lot of brands are finding themselves aligned with female athletes in terms of vision and goals. It’s a whole new demographic opened up to brands that previously didn’t devote their marketing to women’s sports fans. So who are those fans? 

The audience for women’s sports is incredibly diverse. Many of the fans are young and willing to accept sponsored messages and products from their favorite athletes. 

A report including millions of social media and TV viewer data points found that women’s sports fans tend to be; 

  • Tech-savvy. Women’s sports used to have terribly inconvenient or lacking coverage options, so their fans have had to learn how to navigate various apps and streaming services just to watch a game. 
  • Highly networked community. Compared to other fans, fans of women’s sports have a greater networked sense of community, which is a massive influencer on how successful sports betting will be. These fans show greater trends of sports co-watching. 
  • Readily activated. Many women’s sports fans are eager to advocate for what they believe in, a good amount of them having been activists for decades because women’s sports have been historically undermined. That means that these fans are very ready to promote their sports, favorite players, and contribute to the sports market. 
  • People who care about gender equality. Not all value can be quantified. Many audience members of women’s sports love that their support of the sports and athletes helps promote gender equality at the end of the day, and their consumer behavior and demographics can reflect that. These are exciting, hopeful times. 

New opportunities for success

The women’s sport industry is ripe for monetization in a variety of exciting ways. 

Betting and wagers 

The sports betting industry was valued at over $74 billion in 2021, and is projected to grow to $129 billion by 2028. With the rise of women’s sports, sports betting companies will all be significantly affected. 

Women’s sports apparel 

A lot of sportswear companies have historically just added a small section where the clothes and accessories are smaller and pinker. However, with the rise in women’s sports popularity, there’s great opportunity for growth in this direction. There have been many innovations for luxury and comfort when it comes to women’s activewear, and it is definitely something for apparel vendors to explore. 

Sponsorships and partnerships 

Sponsoring an athlete or team is an amazing way to get your name out there. Popularity of women’s sports has generated more interest from name brands. Sponsorship deals for women who play major US sports have gone up by 20% year-on-year in 2022. That increase is likely going to be surpassed in 2023. 

Stadium events 

When matchday gathering is possible, stadium events for women’s sports are a wonderful opportunity to enhance a sense of community, spread brand awareness, and more. 

More stories to be told 

Audiences of any kind, not just sports, are pulled in by storytelling. With women’s sports becoming more popular, it’s a chance for content creators and businesses to grab onto stories of striving for excellence, equality, and that gold medal. Bloggers and video creators in particular should keep their eyes on women’s sports athletes as they come into the limelight. If you can find a black horse before they become popular, even better. 

Broadcasting 

Elite men’s sports have fairly stringent broadcasting standards and steep prices, billions each season. It’s essentially impossible to compete for broadcast rights if a service broadcaster doesn’t already have them. On the other hand, it’s a lot easier to get into broadcasting women’s sports. Some women’s sports may even be willing to trade coverage for broadcasting rights so they can receive more exposure around the world. 

How does this affect the payments landscape? 

For businesses that want to branch out into women’s sports, especially betting companies, seamless payment options enable better betting. That’s where Praxis comes in. Our team is here to help you upgrade and facilitate your payments process so it’s efficient and smooth. 

Meanwhile for matches and stadiums themselves, you need a good way to handle ticket transactions. Rocky transactions hurt both customers and vendors. 

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