A group of young women aged 20-25 playing football

Research Report: Say Yes to Success – the commercial benefits of partnership with professional women’s sports


Through interviews with sponsors, broadcasters and organisers of four major women’s sports we reveal the details behind some exciting developments made in the last few years, and highlight the commercial benefits that exist for companies willing to enter into meaningful partnerships with women’s sports.


Decisions about whether to invest cannot be made on existing viewing figures. Instead companies must consider what the viewing figures could be if there was investment and meaningful partnerships between all concerned.
Helena Morrissey, Newton Investment Management

Key findings

The results from October 2013 provide a striking picture.

  • Men’s sport still accounts for the vast majority of sports coverage across all media outlets. Women’s sport accounted for just 7% of the sport that we read about, watched or listened to in October 2013.
  • Women’s sports fared best on TV with just over 10% of sports coverage (mainly thanks to coverage of women’s tennis).
  • In national newspapers, women’s sports received just 2% of the coverage.
  • Radio coverage of women’s sport amounted to 5% of the total.
  • And online, just 4% of coverage concerned women’s sports.


  • Key stakeholders, such as media companies, commercial partners and competition organisers need to work together to develop a regular calendar of high quality events and competitions.
  • Greater clarity about the characteristics and commercial benefits of successful women’s sport events and competitions should be established.
  • Women’s events and competitions must be developed in a way that encourages fans to engage and connect with them.
  • 0.4 %

    of all sponsorships deals are for women's sport

    Havas Sports and Entertainment

  • Only 7 %

    of sport coverage focuses on women's sport

    Women in Sport

Download the report