Research shows that reach continues to be a problem for women's sports marketing
The GIST: Tech research firm Sports Innovation Lab (SIL) released a 41-page report yesterday offering optimal, research-backed methods for investing in women’s sports. It concludes that reach, experience, and discoverability are the keys to unlocking the women’s game’s full potential.
The context: The report is the third in a series powered by The Fan Project, an initiative SIL launched in 2021. The project compiled over 10M data points across four years to conclude that women’s sports are mainly supported by the “Fluid Fan,” or one who follows particular athletes more than teams. For these fans, SIL then proposed a community-based monetization model in a 2022 report.
The findings: This newest report found that reach is a critical problem for women’s sports marketing, as the industry has long suffered from poor time slots, content quality, and inventory packaging. Discoverability is also a major issue for women’s sports leagues and the in-person experience can fall short, as half-empty stadiums often scare off investors.
- To celebrate those who are getting it right, the report highlighted industry leaders who are pioneering change in terms of reach like State Farm, experience like SeatGeek, and discoverability like Ally.
- Although brands are currently only allocating 9% of media budgets on average toward women’s sports, 83% plan on increasing that spend in 2023. The bad news? About 67% will increase their spending by only 1% to 10%.
Zooming out: This improved understanding of how women’s sports operate means brands are better equipped to commit resources in a meaningful way. SIL also recommends tracking fan value, media subscriptions, and sponsorship impact to accurately measure investment success. Sky’s the limit.