There is no doubt that women’s sport is having something of a ‘moment’ right now. Barely a day goes by without a major development being announced, be that about a new sponsorship relationship, new broadcast deal, new media launch or other significant investment of some type. It’s truly fantastic to see so much progress being made in such a short space of time, and long may it continue. The positive impact the increased visibility of women’s sport will have, particularly on young girls being inspired to get active and discover their own passions, is a major achievement and one that should be celebrated.
The growing interest and investment in women’s sport also presents a major opportunity for brands, and it is one that we have been able to capitalise on for a number of our clients. OPRO, the maker of the world’s most technically advanced mouthguards, is the official mouthguard partner of a number of professional sporting organisations including England Rugby, the UFC and Great Britain Hockey. They also have several athletes signed as brand ambassadors, including Taekwondo World Champion Bianca Walkden, England rugby player Vicky Fleetwood and GBR Hockey player, Shona McCallin.
Brands investing in women’s sport is a story in itself at the moment, and we have been able to leverage that to help secure coverage in business and trade media for OPRO, but it’s in the sports pages where the increased opportunities are most demonstrable. The number of journalists writing about women’s sport and the pages and sections dedicated to covering it have increased significantly in recent months. Most notably, the launch of the Telegraph women’s sport coverage has taken the space and prominence given to female athletes and their achievements in a national newspaper to a whole new level, but the space being made for women’s sporting achievements at most of the national press has increased. We were able to capitalise on this for OPRO during the recent women’s Six Nations tournament, placing interviews with Vicky Fleetwood in both the Independent and Mail Online.
There is also an opportunity for brands to use their relationships in women’s sport to encourage participation at the grassroots level, and in turn to secure media coverage for those initiatives. In January, in partnership with OPRO, Bianca Walkden hosted some taekwondo classes for school children as part of her mission to encourage thousands of girls to give martial arts a go. We invited BBC North West, ITV Granada and the Liverpool Echo down to take a look which resulted in the below coverage.
As female sporting success is increasingly celebrated and the profiles of our top female athletes grow, there are also more opportunities for coverage away from the sports pages, in profile slots, set piece interviews and Q&As. Again, we have had success for OPRO here, lining up interviews for their female athletes in the likes of the FT and the Sunday Times.
For brands involved in women’s sport – or for those about to step in to a women’s sport sponsorship partnership for the first time – the opportunities have never been greater. If you would like to find out how our award-winning sports team can help you make the most of these relationships, you can contact a member of the team here.