Women’s Sports: Is social media activity shaping the future of women’s sports investment?

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Every tweet, retweet, and hashtag posted on social media surrounding women’s sport is said to fuel future investments, though the commercial difference between men and women’s sports is still large.

Studies show that only 0.4% of the total commercial investment (in sport) goes into women’s sport, despite a 2018 Nielsen report revealing that 84% of general sports fans have an interest in women’s sports. 

Interestingly, 51% of those were male confirming that women’s sports represent a major opportunity to engage male fans.

Increased media coverage for women’s sports

Global sports events such as last year’s Women’s World Cup saw a rise in viewership as it attracted 25.4 million viewers becoming the most-watched soccer match ever in the U.S.

Increased social media activity is said to play a major role in increasing the visibility of women’s sport, driving online engagement and generating conversations.

Additionally, social media benefits the profile of sportswomen, for example, athletes such as U.S football star Megan Rapinoe and track sensation, Sydney McLaughlin, allowing them to attract big followings and gain attention from major sponsors.

Though, despite the observation that social media contributes greatly to the growth of women’s sports, little has been invested in sportswomen.

Managing Director of AccuraCast, Farhad Divecha revealed that companies aren’t interested because they can’t be guaranteed the return of their investment back with greater media attention.

“There has recently been a positive change in the way women’s sport is covered by social media but over time this change has happened very slowly,” said Divecha.

According to UNESCO, female athletes got 4% of the worldwide sports media coverage last year.

“Hopefully, social media will help speed up fan interest, increase engagement with sportswomen themselves - which, in turn, should lead to more media interest and therefore, more commercial investment.”

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