By: Alisa Ermarkaryan
Women's sports has faced constant barriers throughout history, however in recent times, interest in women’s sports has seen exponential growth and many believe this is just the beginning. In the past, sports media has not represented female athletics in reasonable ways. As representation in media coverage starts to become a part of the norm, women’s sports are to be covered more by the media and the audience for them will continue to expand. A perfect example of this was shown with the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the first professional group sports league that returned to play during the pandemic. Their games aired on media giants like CBS and Paramount+ and the viewership hit astonishing numbers being up 493% year-over-year and social media mentions up 152%.
As viewership increases so does interest in women’s sports from brands. According to AdWeek, Nike now has an organization specifically for women’s business, creating partnerships with female athletes and collaborations with the NWSL and WNBA. In addition, the global payments giant, VISA, signed a seven-year agreement to support UEFA Women’s Football. VISA recognizes the potential in women’s sports and becomes the first ever UEFA sponsor dedicated to the women’s game.
Women’s sports goes beyond the players and can be considered broadly as women in sports. 2021 has been monumental across multiple sport leagues making history with all-female broadcast teams. The Toronto Raptors made league history in March with the first all-female broadcast crew who called the Raptors and Nuggets game. The goal of the evening was to lead to more recognition of the many roles women play in professional sports. The MLB followed and made league history in July with the first all-female announcing crew for the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles game.
Women’s sports is big business. Not only is investing in women’s sports the right thing to do, it is a savvy business decision.