Each day this week we will be looking at one element of the benchmark PwC Sports Survey 2019 and at how it is relevant to the business of sport here in Ireland.
Today we look at the area of Women in Sport.
The surge in recognition of the importance of Women’s sport and the role that women play in the wider context of all sport is something we have championsed since our inception eight years ago.
There is undoubtedly now a sense of real momentum which the PwC Sports Survey talk of in terms of “being powered by gale force winds rather than intermittent gusts going forward, with accelerating momentum into 2020.
The key business element which the survey identifies as a main driver of this engagement is that women represent between 70 and 80 percent of the consumer market through a combination of buying power and influence.
It is always around the biggest events like the olympic Games or World cup that the greatest breakthrough moments occur and in 2019 this applied to the FIFA Women’s World cup as well.
Nike released its celebration content across multiple social media within seconds of the USA winning in France.
Powerful stuff, reaching well beyond the power of sport into the very heart of the power of women, and how it has often been suppressed.
The video has been viewed five million times on youtube along wityh countless times that on Facebook and is a signal of the willingness for big brands to invest heavily in support and activation around Women’s Sport.
“Overall, there has been a professionalisation of the women’s sporting ecosystem, one that is increasingly being served by women themselves, in large part due to greater know-how among women in and around professional female sports,” adds the commentary in the report which also highlights the £10 million investment by Barclays in the Women’s Premier League.
Relevance in Ireland
In many ways Ireland has been ahead of the curve in recognising the impact that smart commercial backing of Women’s sport can have.
Seven years ago Liberty Insurance included Camogie alongside Hurling when it chose to enter the world of Gaelic Games sponsorship.
The partnership between Lidl and Ladies Gaelic Football has been a key enabler in the rapid growth of that sport at every level but seen most visibly in the climb from an attendance of 27,374 at the TG4 All Ireland Final in 2014 to a massive 56,114 ten days ago.
Camogie also set a new record attendance this year and there is a major campaign underway to get crowds to Tallaght Stadium next month for the Republic of Ireland Euro Qualifier against the Ukraine.
That is being supported by Three, Aviva and Boots, all of whom have committed energy and resource into specific partnerships with the Women’s team.
The 20X20 campaign has been a brilliant example of brands coming together behind an idea to support every aspect of Women being involved in sport from participation and attendance through to media coverage and the championing of Role Models.
Three, AIG, Lidl, KPMG and Investec have been joined by RTÉ, TG4 and Off The Ball on the media side to create a groundswell of awareness and support for the right of half the population to be recognised in sport as much as the other.
The campaign, created and supported by Along Came a Spider and the federation of Irish Sport is a case study in how committed sponsors, willing sporting bodies and creative agencies can reach beyond the confines of a mere campaign and capture the hearts and minds of men as well as women.
Sport for Business Annual Women in Sport Conference will take place on November 13th at the studios of RTÉ and will cover many of the key areas impacting upon Women in Sport in 2019. Click here for more information.
Monday: Women in Sport
Wednesday: OTT and Direct to Consumer
Thursday: Gaming Strategy
Friday: The Role of Federations