The Strategic Shift in Media Spend: Empowering Women's Sports

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Growing Influence of Women's Sports
  3. The Business Case for Investing in Women's Sports
  4. Challenges and Opportunities Ahead
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQ


Have you ever stopped to ponder the evolution of sports marketing, especially in the realm of women's sports? In the bustling world of sports, where male athletes and leagues have traditionally hogged the limelight, a significant shift is underway. Drawing from both historical trends and recent market analyses, this blog post dives into the changing dynamics of sports marketing, focusing on the extraordinary rise of women's sports. By embarking on this journey, we'll uncover how major media buying firms and renowned advertisers are championing this evolution, aiming to reshape the sports marketing landscape. Prepare to explore the ins and outs of this fascinating transformation, understand its implications, and discern its potential trajectory.

The Growing Influence of Women's Sports

Heightened Media Attention and Investment

The awakening to the untapped potential of women's sports has been slow but undeniably impactful. Recently, GroupM, a giant in media buying, announced plans to double its media spend on women's sports. This decision didn't emerge in a vacuum. It reflects a broader recognition of the rising prominence and appeal of women's sports among fans and advertisers alike. With leading advertisers such as Adidas, Google, and Unilever on board, there's a clear intention to innovate and carve out new opportunities within this burgeoning marketplace.

Why the Surge in Interest?

A confluence of factors has contributed to the heightened interest in women's sports. For one, the societal push towards gender equality has transcended traditional sectors, reaching the realms of sports and entertainment. Also, advertisers recognize the value of engaging with a diverse and passionate fan base that women's sports uniquely offer. Notably, events like the March Madness college basketball tournament have showcased the growing public interest and vibrant spirit surrounding women's sports, further validating the market's potential.

The Business Case for Investing in Women's Sports

Affordability Meets Opportunity

From a purely commercial perspective, the allure of women's sports lies in its relatively untapped market status. This presents a fertile ground for brands to make early inroads, build loyalty, and secure prime positioning at a comparatively modest investment. Andrea Brimmer's insights, from financial services firm Ally, shed light on this strategic approach. By reallocating media dollars and harnessing strategic sponsorships and partnerships, brands like Ally are not merely supporting women's sports but are strategically positioning themselves within an evolving narrative of inclusivity and empowerment.

Creating a New Marketplace

The initiative by GroupM and its clients to establish a standalone women's sports marketplace is nothing short of revolutionary. This move signifies a shift from passive support to active ecosystem creation, where the focus is on enabling a sustainable and vibrant platform for women's sports. Such efforts are geared towards discovering the 'next cultural moment' in sports, akin to the current vibrancy in women's basketball and soccer, thereby broadening the appeal and impact of women's sports across the board.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Bridging the Gap

While the trajectory seems promising, the road ahead is not without its challenges. One of the key hurdles lies in overcoming longstanding stereotypes and biases that have hindered the growth of women’s sports. There's also the need for overcoming logistical and operational barriers, such as securing more desirable time slots for women’s sports events and ensuring equitable media coverage.

The Roadmap for Future Growth

To transcend these challenges, a collaborative approach involving media companies, advertisers, and sports leagues will be crucial. By fostering a holistic ecosystem that promotes visibility, accessibility, and engagement, the landscape of women's sports can witness a transformative shift. This entails not just increased financial investment but also strategic efforts to highlight the stories, achievements, and unique appeal of female athletes and sports teams.


The burgeoning interest and investment in women’s sports mark a pivotal moment in the evolution of sports marketing. As we witness this historic shift, it’s clear that the journey ahead, though fraught with challenges, is ripe with possibilities. By championing inclusivity, accessibility, and engagement, the sports industry has the potential to redefine not only the commercial but also the cultural fabric of sports. As fans, marketers, and advocates of sports, the unfolding narrative of women's sports offers a compelling saga of resilience, revolution, and rebirth.


Q: Why is investing in women's sports considered strategic? A: Investing in women's sports is strategic due to the untapped market potential, the opportunity to build brand loyalty with a diverse and passionate fan base, and the comparative affordability of media and sponsorship opportunities.

Q: How are companies like GroupM influencing the women's sports landscape? A: Companies like GroupM are playing a pivotal role by doubling their media spend on women's sports, creating targeted marketplaces, and fostering partnerships that enhance visibility and engagement for women’s sports.

Q: What are the main challenges facing the growth of women's sports? A: The main challenges include overcoming stereotypes and biases, securing equitable media coverage and sponsorships, and ensuring the visibility and accessibility of women’s sports events.

Q: What does the future hold for women's sports? A: The future of women's sports is poised for significant growth, with increased investment, greater media attention, and a broader, more engaged fan base. This represents a shift towards a more inclusive and equitable sports industry.