New research reveals women’s sport potential

Women's Sport Opportunity

A new UK study has found that women’s sport could generate revenue of up to £1bn a year by 2030 – up from the current figure of £350m – if the visibility of teams and athletes is increased.

‘Closing the Visibility Gap’, a comprehensive study into the commercial drivers of women’s sport in the UK, was undertaken by the Women’s Sport Trust and data insight agency Two Circles.

One of its findings, that UK sports fans are most familiar with female athletes competing in individual competitions in high-profile mixed-sex sports and events, such as athletics or tennis, echoes research done by Syngenta Golf.

In the feature ‘Can the rise of women’s sport grow golf participation’, BBC Golf Correspondent Iain Carter said golf had a “massive opportunity” to have men’s and women’s tournaments staged alongside each other, sharing television coverage.

Tammy Parlour MBE, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of the Women’s Sport Trust, said: “Women’s sport has been on a strong growth trajectory. However, most sport played by elite female athletes still has a long way to go until it becomes commercially viable.

“To achieve long-lasting change, and for women’s sport to occupy a central role in our culture in the UK, the sports industry must widely recognise a social responsibility to building sport for all, and practically connect a vision for women’s sport to long-term commercial profit.”

The research found that existing interest in women’s sport is strong, with two-thirds of UK sports fans currently following some form of women’s sport and half having attended an event featuring female athletes.

However, the study also highlighted that the sports industry has underinvested in making female athletes visible in ways that resonate with fans; in creating meaningful interactions for partners; and in building the overall prestige of women’s sport.