UK Women's Sport is Losing out on Sponsorship Revenues


A new study has revealed that sponsorship of women’s elite sport in the UK amounted to just 0.5% of the total market between January 2010 and August 2011.
The report from The Commission on the Future of Women’s Sport indicated that sponsor spend on men’s sport accounted for 61.1% over the same period, with the remainder splashed out on mixed sports. The study, ‘Big Deal? The case for commercial investment in women’s sport’, revealed that there had been only a 0.1% increase in value in the women’s sport sponsorship sector between the last time the market was valued and 2010-11.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, chair of the Commission, said: “It’s a depressing state of affairs. The research tells us that men and women are keen to see more women’s sport on our screens but many sports, potential sponsors and broadcasters, seem to be spectacularly missing out on the opportunity to secure some great deals. In just a few months, the eyes of the world will be on London 2012 – the only occasion in our lifetime that we’ll be a global showcase for women’s elite sport in this country. It’s disappointing that more brands and rights-holders haven’t seized the opportunity to benefit themselves and women’s sport, and help create a lasting legacy.”
The study did show that women’s sport had accounted for 1.5% of the total sports sponsorship spend in the UK so far this year, with brands such as Investec, Continental Tyres, Umbro, Vauxhall, Yorkshire Building Society, Invesco Perpetual, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fiat, Samsung, Speedo, Hovis, BP, British Airways and BMW having invested significant sums.
The Commission on the Future of Women’s Sport is supported and run by the charity, The Women’s Sport & Fitness Foundation (WSFF). “The time is ripe for investment in women’s sport,” said WSFF chief executive Sue Tibballs. “However, the lack of investment accounts, in large part, for the absence of a female sporting culture in the UK – women’s sport is not widely promoted and its competitors are not being publicly presented as fit and healthy sporting role models to inspire women and girls to be physically active.”

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