Title sponsorship is regarded as one of the prime assets for a sports competition. Football leagues across Europe have constantly changed brands and there is no short of current examples: LaLiga Santander (Bank), Serie A TIM (Telco) , Ligue 1 Conforma (Retail) , Liga NOS Portugal (Telco), and more could be added.
When looking at the professional women’s football leagues and competitions we can single out a few such as the Barclays FA WSL , Liga Iberdrola in Spain, Liga BPI in Portugal, OBOS Damallsvenskan in Sweden, and the Allianz Frauen Bundesliga
Other notable examples include the two cup competitions in England, the SSE Women’s FA Cup and the Continental Tyres Cup. Even as far as in India the women’s league carries the Hero sponsorship and in Australia, it is the Westfield W-League.
A title sponsor is there primarily to be synonymously associated with the competition and aims to be mentioned in any verbal and written way. It seems that in women’s football there’s a catch. Brands want to get involved and do get involved but it feels that the big investment by brands is yet to come. The question is, are they hestitant to invest more until the game is big enough and can the game reach that level without that investment?
According to a study by Nielsen Sports, there’s been an increase of 37% in the number of annual sponsorship in women’s sport between 2013-2017. On top of that, there’s been a 49% increase in the average value of a sponsorship deal in women’s sport during the same time. Nonetheless, among clubs, leagues and federations there was an increase from 7% in 2013 to 19% attributed to the number of deals the above closed.
The growth and growth potential is clear and so are the risks associated with the velocity of growth. The upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in less than a month might be the catalyst moment for accelerated growth in the women’s game. And let’s not forget that the UEFA Women’s Euros is not too far in the summer of 2021 in the UK.
Ultimately, there’s a message here for brands with so many available assets on offer. Brands who are ready to commit in this somewhat early stage in women’s football will benefit from access to more rights can establish themselves as true drivers of change.