In this week’s Women in Sport Weekly, supported by our partnership with Lidl, we look back on a major sponsorship extension; history being made at the top level in the US and an Irish practitioner heading to Chicago to work with the World number one USA WNT; new research on visibility from Britain and plenty more…

 

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LIDL EXTENDS FOR FOUR MORE YEARS AND ADDITIONAL €5 MILLION

Lidl is extending its partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association by another four years.

It is a remarkable six years since the two first came together after the playful teaser campaign promoting Ladyball. Since then it has been one of the most powerful sporting partnerships of all time and the new extension will see it come to a decade of #serioussupport.

The partnership is as the official retailer but it goes well beyond that and has also become a best in class case study of a sporting organisation working with other partners for the common good, in this case especially TG4 and Sports Direct, but not just limited to them.

The investment has also been revealed as being worth €5 million over these next four years, the same amount as has gone in over the previous six.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

WATCH BACK OUR CHAT WITH JOE MOONEY OF LIDL AND PLAYERS CARLA ROWE AND MONICA MCGUIRK HERE.

 

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EQUALITY MOTION FOR GAA CONGRESS

The Gaelic Players Association has submitted a motion for consideration at GAA Congress on February 26th urging the GAA to take proactive, meaningful and swift action to expedite integration with the LGFA and the Camogie Association.

The division of the three sporting codes is rooted in history but possibly not even known about among most people that are members of a GAA club and bringing up sons and daughters to play the games.

They wear the same kit, play on the same pitches, rally under the same club banner and cheer the loudest for whichever one of the County teams are going best at the time.

Under the hood

Under the hood though the fact of them being three separate organisations presents issues in terms of administration, facilities and more.

Croke Park was built and continues to be managed under the auspices of the GAA and while the All Irland Ladies Football and Camogie Finals are played there it is an arrangement that requires permission to be sought and granted.

Sponsorship arrangements around the competitions are handled separately though last year the Camogie Association entered into an agreement with the GAA to benefit from their larger team and reach.

Decisions on calendars and playing rules, and contracts with broadcasters are all handled separately and the promotion of the games is also done by each of the three bodies, largely in isolation from the other.

 

READ THE FULL STORY ON SPORT FOR BUSINESS HERE

 

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WNT COACH HEADING TO CHICAGO

Anthony Barry’s departure as a coach for the Republic of Ireland Men’s team exhaustively pored over this week but there was less about an equally impressive step taken by Donegal Ladies Football star and sports scientist with the Women’s National Team Kate Kearney.

She departed this week for Chicago where she will be working with the number one world-ranked and reigning World Cup Champions the USA.

She will initially work with the underage squads, helping to identify pathways for their growing into the Women’s side.

It is a major step and a major recognition for Kearney.

 

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SPORT FOR BUSINESS MEDIA MONITOR

We are two weeks into our tracking of the percentage of coverage devoted to Women’s sport in terms of representation on the news agenda and also in terms of the imagery that is carried in the media.

There are enough stories of women competing at the highest level to merit the support of media across the traditional and online sections but it will be instructive to see just what level that is now set at after a year in which Women’s sport dominated the narrative like never before.

So far the best performing of our principal daily newspapers is running at a figure of 13.2 per cent of coverage

This report and a detailed debate about what we can do to improve coverage will be part of our Annual Women in Sport Conference in March.

 

 

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LEONA MAGUIRE – HISTORY MAKER

It was a weekend of history for Irish players on the Golf courses of the United States over the weekend.

Leona Maguire became the first-ever Irish winner on the LPGA Tour in the Drive On Championship that concluded on Saturday.

It was the seventh Top 10 finish of her career but her first win on the pro tour and the prize money brings her career earnings up to $1.3 million.

She said after the win that it had been 17 years in the making but it is in the last two years that her career and her visibility around the world has soared and this felt like a win that was coming over that whole period.

Her star turn in the Solheim Cup last year put the world on notice that she was playing at the very highest level and this three-stroke victory over a strong field was a model of consistency with three rounds of 66, 65 and a closing 67.

Niall Horan, whose Modest Golf looks after her commercial affairs was quick to tweet out a celebration message to his 41.3 million followers making sure to tag KPMG, Davy Group, Kinetica Sports, Kastus and Ping, the blue-chip brands that adorn her playing gear.

This was a special win for a special player continues the surge of momentum behind our top female athletes on the world stage.

 

 

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BRITISH TV VIEWING OF WOMEN’S SPORT HITS ALL-TIME HIGH

Almost 33 million (32.9m) people watched domestic women’s sport in Britain in 2021, beating all previous years. The main drivers for this growth were The Hundred in cricket and the FA Women’s Super League which brought in almost 11 million new viewers to women’s sport.

The numbers were revealed as part of a new report published in the week on ‘Visibility Uncovered’ by the Women’s Sport Trust.

Contrary to the current trend of declining TV viewing hours, women’s sport is actually growing across both free-to-air and Pay-TV channels. However, it’s free-to-air that really makes an impact to the total audience as it brought 19 million new viewers to women’s sport.

Here in Ireland, the same impact is likely with record numbers of women’s rugby, soccer and Gaelic games matches being carried free to air across RTÉ, Virgin Media and TG4.

During the week it was revealed that nine matches in the 2022 Women’s National League will be shown here as well as the Evoke.ie Women’s FAI Cup.

The report also found that there are significant opportunities for growth for women’s sport for pay-TV broadcasters. 28% of viewers (2.9 million) who watched women’s sport on free-to-air but not Pay TV in 2021 have watched sport Pay-TV channels this year, implying they likely have a subscription to sports Pay-TV channels, while 79% of females watched women’s sport on free-to-air only.

 

READ MORE ABOUT THE REPORT ON SPORT FOR BUSINESS

 

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WOMEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE IN LAUNCH SPOTLIGHT

 

All ten teams were present when the Women’s National League was given equal billing by the FAI with the SSE Airtricity League season launch on Wednesday.

There will be a full programme of 27 games shown live and free on the LOUITV streaming platform, presenting a great opportunity to see the players and the teams across the full year.

Eight of the ten teams carried sponsor logo’s on the front of their shirts and we will be reviewing all of the commercial aspects of the teams in a special preview of the season ahead of its getting underway in early March.

 

 

 

 

Each Friday we carry a Women in Sport Weekly Column, highlighting stories here in Ireland and around the world that are relevant to the idea that we are only catching up to what is happening elsewhere and that while we may be strong in some areas, there are certainly others where we need to prod and poke to ensure fairness.

That’s all, it’s not a takeover, it’s not at the expense of sport that is there already, it is just recognition that sport should be more conscious of its obligation to the 50.5 per cent of the population that has just as much right and talent to play sport as anyone.

If you think there is a story around Women in Sport that we should feature please get in touch and let us know.