Brand Strategy Women's Football Sports Marketing

Fewer briefs, less budget, less time – the reality of women’s football ads

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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

July 22, 2022 | 4 min read

Brands are slowly waking up to opportunities in women’s football, says Alex Giacon, general manager of footballer publisher 90min. But he’s still receiving fewer briefs, with shorter lead times and lower budgets than for the men’s football.

Alex Giacon calls on brands to be better allies of women's football

Alex Giacon calls on brands to be better allies of women’s football / Pexels

The 2022 women’s Euros have already set a new attendance record, drawing a total of 248,075 fans, showing the women’s game has endless potential. While there is still some way to go, there is some really positive momentum that I’m sure will continue in the months and years ahead.

As a publisher, we understand we have our own role to play in this journey for the game. For us, it started in 2017 when we began to take a more direct and active approach to uncover the stories and personalities that exist within the women’s game. This has since evolved by ensuring that we have a comprehensive strategy and investment plan to deliver against what we believe will enhance our content offering to fans, but also (hopefully) gives women’s football consistent visibility among the rest of our coverage.

Ultimately, we took the position that we see the game and not the gender, football is football, and we should be covering it.

Increased coverage of the women’s game is necessary as it provides more exposure of the sport and the talented women behind it. This then leads to more fandom, more investment from brands and, ultimately, equality between the men and women who play – such as equal resources, pay and support.

So many women have paved the way to make this sport what it is, and we want to ensure that the next generation of players see continued progress from brands and stakeholders to create a profitable and equitable future in the game."

As a media owner relying on advertising to ensure business growth, we also have business decisions to make when it comes to the time, money and effort we invest into projects to ensure a positive ROI. With this in mind, our relationship with brands is crucial.

Brands are slowly waking up to the opportunity that exists by aligning with women’s football, with Barclays, Visa, Nike and Adidas leading the way. Although great strides are being made, we are still seeing a couple of common challenges as a media owner:

  1. The volume of briefs we receive around women’s football is still much less than for men’s football

  2. The briefs we do receive tend to have a shorter runway for planning – typically two to three weeks rather than months ahead like the men’s proposals

  3. We find that brands want to be involved, but when it comes to committing money there’s a lower chance of making it a reality

I’m not suggesting that brands have to completely switch their approaches and invest millions, but those brands that become allies of the women’s game today will almost certainly reap the rewards as we approach the next World Cup and beyond. From our side, at 90min, we will continue to push ahead with our goals, strategy and ambitions with the hope that others (brands, broadcasters, partners and publishers) will make a similar commitment to these talented women and the future of the sport.

Brand Strategy Women's Football Sports Marketing

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