UWCL: Increased media value, attendance point to rise of women's soccer

May 20, 2022
Sports BusinessSoccer
UWCL: Increased media value, attendance point to rise of women's soccer

The GIST: This season’s UWCL off-field wins perfectly display the rising popularity of women’s soccer. A prime example? Women’s teams are playing for packed houses — and record crowds — after hosting games in stadiums usually reserved for their male equivalents. But teams aren’t the only ones benefiting from the venue upgrades.

  • In a report shared with The GIST, Relo Metrics and N3XT Sports found that UWCL semifinals’ media value is up 200% from last year for teams that upgraded venues. The MVP? The LED boards at major sports stadiums.

The details: The study compared two teams that changed venues, FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain FC (PSG). Barcelona’s 2021 semifinal at the 6K-seat Estadi Johan Cruyff generated $90K in brand media value. This year’s move to the 99K-seat Camp Nou drove $518K — a 400% increase — in media value to team and UWCL sponsors.

  • As for PSG, last year’s semi at Stade Municipal Georges Lefèvre, which seats 2K, heralded $190K for brands. This year’s semi at the 48K-seat Parc des Princes, though, created $249K in brand value. Talk about a glow-up.

Zooming out: This season’s success proved that women’s soccer can fill huge stadiums and, consequently, drive greater ROI for brands. And given UEFA’s unbundling of the women’s and men’s sponsorships in 2017, there’s now a serious business case for brands to partner with the women’s game as a singular product.

  • As far as the impact of LED boards goes, it spotlights the creative ways that technology can be leveraged to grow in-person ad inventory in the digital age. Don’t sleep on this space.