To put that into perspective, global sports sponsorship was worth 6.8bn over those three years, but just 7.2m was spent on women’s sport, so there’s huge opportunity for growth.
The appetite for watching women’s sport is growing too, fuelled by broadcasters such as Channel 4 and ITV bringing international competitions to mainstream TV.
The general public actually care about this stuff, so if you want to change people’s opinions of your brand, get involved.” A number of brands have got in early and carved out a space for themselves in the women’s sport sponsorship market, from Investec with England women’s hockey, to Kia with England women’s cricket and Vitality in England netball.
SSE analysed the sponsorship opportunities for nine women’s sports before opting for football.
Audiences for the event have grown over the past two years, with the 2017 final attracting a record crowd of more than 35,000 and more than a million watching at home.
SSE also helped negotiate the deal for kids to go free to the final, targeting families rather than specifically men or women.
Surging viewing figures and an array of high-profile success stories means women’s sport is riding high in 2018.
So why are so many brands neglecting the sponsorship opportunities of this burgeoning sector?
Whereas if you actually look at the broad opportunity, it is much more accessible than men’s sport and produces much more interesting content.
“There’s still a lot of brands right now that are thinking about how many minutes they are going to get on the telly and ‘what’s my brand awareness going to be?
’ Actually, that’s advertising, not sponsorship,” says Banks.
Yet brands remain reticent to embrace the opportunities of women’s sports.
The most recent figures date back to a study of the market between 2011-2013, which found female sports account for a mere 0.4% of total sports sponsorship.