17 SEP 2021
5 MIN READ
On the back of Emma Raducanu’s inspiring win at the US Open, we’re looking at the exponential growth of women’s sports sponsorships.
How should we measure the success of an athlete? Most would argue that it should be for their sporting achievements alone, but in a world of social media followers and sponsorship hungry brands, it becomes more complex. A sponsorship deal signals the growing popularity of a sport or a star, and this is often held up as a measure of when they have broken through. We’re looking at the sponsorship deals in women’s sports and what this might mean for the athletes.
A Star Is Born
Emma Raducanu’s youthfulness and talent give her a natural star quality that brands all over the world would like to associate themselves with. After her stunning victory at the US Open women’s tennis final, there was immediate talk of her commercial potential. One commentator said that she was the ‘most marketable British athlete since David Beckham.’ As the likes of Rolex clamber to get her signed on, another questioned whether obsessing over the commercial viability of the star was missing the point. Should greatness really be measured by marketability? Surely the focus should be on witnessing her mesmerising skill on the court without the scramble to turn her into a brand.
Womens' League Deal
Back in March this year, Sky Sports reached a “multimillion” pound three-year agreement to secure the rights to broadcast English Women’s Super League matches starting in September. The new broadcast deal will see WSL games broadcast live on subscription platform Sky Sports and by the free-to-air BBC, which the league hopes will boost ratings and the popularity of the WSL. As one of the most competitive leagues, with some of the most famous names and teams in the world, the WSL will be one of Sky Sports' flagship offerings.
Three More Reasons To Cheer(s)
Heineken is focusing on women’s sport to help raise its profile by expanding its sponsorship net to include the UEFA Women’s Champions League, UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 and W Series. The Dutch drinks company is pulling out all the stops to elevate players and drivers, including UEFA Women’s Player of the Year, Pernille Harder, and W Series Champion, Jamie Chadwick, through a hero film that celebrates the power of sport while cementing the beer brand as a leading alcohol sponsor.