Marketing and advertising in Women’s Football: The revolution that is changing the rules.
In the world of sport, there are always historical moments that change the perception and evolution of it. Every four years, the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup are events that redefine the industry and force brands to adapt and evolve in all areas. These sports celebrations drive technological advances and transformations in the entertainment industry, with high-tech broadcasts and launches of new TV models to offer maximum performance to viewers.
The example of Nike is clear, which revolutionized sports marketing in the celebration of the 1996 Euro Cup with the premiere of the “Airport” commercial and the sponsorship of the Brazilian soccer team. Or Adidas, which for the 2006 World Cup in Germany redefined its communication strategy by launching its “Impossible is Nothing”.
Now comes the Women’s Soccer World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, a litmus test to consolidate an industry that is increasingly having a greater impact on marketing and advertising. With record numbers of audiences and ticket sales, this event has shown that interest in women’s football is constantly growing.
The Unprecedented Reach of Women’s Football
The audiences of this edition of the World Cup have far exceeded the figures registered in the previous tournament in France 2019. Despite the time difference with the host countries, it has been estimated that more than 2,000 million viewers have tuned in at some point to the matches , surpassing the 1,120 million of the previous edition.
This growth in audiences is not isolated, as competitions such as the English Women’s Super League have also seen a 70% increase in audiences during the 2022/2023 season. This translates into a higher number of spectators attending matches, with a 729% increase in pitches since 2017 in the English competition.
The Value of Sponsors in Women’s Football
One of the key factors in the success of women’s soccer has been the involvement of major sponsors, such as Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai-Kia, Orange or Visa, who have backed the Women’s Soccer World Cup. In addition, brands have changed their focus, planning specific strategies with the aim of reaching a different audience than the men’s competition.
In this sense, Generation Z has become a fundamental audience for women’s soccer, showing an equally intense connection with both sports genres. This audience has promoted a greater dissemination of content on social networks, maximizing user retention and generating greater involvement with sport.
Women’s football has seen the emergence of increasingly identifying and representative figures. Players like Megan Rapinoe, Alexia Putellas or Wendie Renard, among others, have become benchmarks for their national teams and outstanding assets for brands. The increase in quality on the field of play has led to greater identification with these figures and has contributed to consolidating women’s football as a global spectacle.
Women’s Soccer: An Opportunity for Brands
FIFA expects to bill 807,000 million dollars this year thanks to women’s football. Brands have understood the value and return on investment that women’s football offers, which has fueled their support and active participation in the sport.
Brands like Nike have led the way in rethinking their strategies and increasing their investment in women’s soccer. Their focus on kit customization, the presence of female athletes in campaigns and their support of independent teams has been integral to this change.
Women’s soccer has become a real business opportunity, and brands have responded accordingly. Investing in this sport has proven to be a wise move, and brands are taking advantage of it to reach broader and more diverse audiences. Through 360º strategies specific to women’s soccer, brands are reaching a deeper connection with their consumers and generating a positive impact in the industry.
The Empowerment of Generation Z
Generation Z, made up of young people born after the mid-1990s, have shown a unique commitment to women’s football. These young people value gender equality and seek to identify with brands that share their values. This generation connects with equal intensity with men’s and women’s sports, which has prompted a greater dissemination of content on social networks.
This change in mentality has led brands to prioritize impacts on social networks, since digital platforms are the place where Generation Z spends much of their time. Creative and authentic campaigns that reflect the diversity of women’s football and the passion of the players have led to greater audience engagement and retention.
For this, the role of brand ambassadors is essential. Figures like Megan Rapinoe, Alexia Putellas and Wendie Renard have transcended the sports field and have become references and role models for millions of people around the world. The players not only represent exceptional talent on the pitch, but also convey values of empowerment, leadership and perseverance. This authenticity has led to a greater identification of consumers with the brands that support these figures, which translates into an increase in loyalty and preference for those products or services.
Nike’s Bet on Women’s Soccer
Nike has been one of the brands that has led the change in the industry by investing significantly in women’s soccer. Since 2019, the Swoosh brand has shown a growing commitment to this movement, driving a change in perception and visibility for players.
Nike’s focus on kit customization has been a prominent aspect of its strategy. At the 2019 Women’s World Cup, the brand created custom kits for 14 participating nations, in direct consultation with the players. This initiative not only highlighted the individuality of each team, but also showed Nike’s commitment to women’s soccer and its desire to offer a product tailored to the needs of the players.
Además, Nike ha priorizado la presencia de las atletas femeninas en sus campañas, colocándolas al frente y al centro junto a los hombres. Esta inclusión ha resonado con los consumidores, quienes valoran el esfuerzo de la marca por representar de manera equitativa a ambos géneros.
The Future of Marketing and Advertising in Women’s Soccer
The future of marketing in women’s football is bright. Brands have the opportunity to continue to make a positive impact in the industry by supporting female players and creating campaigns that reflect the diversity and empowerment of the sport.
Women’s football has established itself as an alternative and constantly growing industry, capable of independently attracting sponsors and generating unique narratives. The brands that bet on this sport will be able to connect with diverse and committed audiences, building a solid and lasting relationship with their consumers.