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The inaugural Women In Sports report was released last week and delivered an in-depth analysis of more than 350 athletes, 7.1K deals, and over 33K posts between leagues, teams, athletes, and brands from September 2021-September 2022.
Let’s take a deeper look at key category insights from the report.
Finance was the most active category in women’s leagues and teams, and the only one with over 300 total sponsorship deals. Not only did the category lead in partnerships, it also grew the most overall year over year, underscoring the burgeoning appeal of women’s sports to the industry.
Mastercard, Ally Financial, CaixaBank, Deloitte, and BNP Paribas topped the list (in that order) with the most sponsorships. Ally Financial–which has pledged gender parity in sponsorship and media spending by 2027–was a particular standout: the company was the most active banking brand, and ranked fourth overall in the category.
Led by apparel giants Nike and adidas, Apparel & Accessories was the second most active category in the past year, with just over 260 sponsorships. Not only did Nike have the most deals in the category, the apparel brand also added the most partnerships–and was the most active brand of any category across the WNBA, the NWSL, and Australia’s Big Bash League.
Meanwhile, NFT brands only partnered with 1% of women’s leagues and teams, versus 26% of men’s. Socios.com was one of only three NFT brands with deals in women’s sports, while the Minnesota Lynx and Valencia CF were the only teams with a sponsorship deal in the category.
Betting Services & DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) inked deals with 11% of women’s leagues and teams, compared to 48% of men’s. Sorare, Caliente.mx, BetMGM,and FanDuel had multiple partnerships in women’s sports, but only 30 brands–just 6% of all active brands in the category– bought sponsorships or media deals.
While Beer boasts staple-category status in men’s sports–over 60% of men’s leagues and teams sold sponsorship or media deals with at least one beer brand in the past year–women’s leagues and teams have plenty of room to grow in the category, as only 25% of properties currently partner with beer brands. Michelob Ultra and Mahou led beer brands in sponsorship growth: the Anheuser-Busch-owned brand added seven domestic deals to its portfolio, while the Spanish brewing company inked its first deal with Liga F.
Explore more insights about women in sports at https://sponsorunited.com/.