Why women’s football needs a fresh approach

Women’s football offers a wealth of opportunities for brands, say Matthew Bennett and Julia Denby-Jones of creative agency Zak. Just don’t approach it like the men’s game

Women’s football doesn’t have anything to prove. An audience of one billion tuned in across the globe for 2019’s World Cup. For context, that’s 2.5 times more people than the Rugby World Cup managed a few months later. That wasn’t just a symbolic victory. The sport is ready to take off.

Indisputably, the pandemic hit at a critical point. But the ascent of women’s football has not stopped. News of renewed contracts and investment amidst the crisis is a sign the world doesn’t need reminding of the game’s business potential.

Despite the scale and spending power, brands are still only tentatively leaning in. In fact 86% of under 30s we surveyed for our recent Women in Football report could not name a single brand working in women’s football. Not one. That’s in the UK where one in five adults consider themselves a fan. Brands need to sit up and pay attention.

The audience is different. Their motivations are different. That means your marketing needs to be different.