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Game-Changing Partnerships: Tech Giants Propel Women’s Sports to New Heights

In recent years, women’s sports have undergone a remarkable transformation, marked by a significant rise in viewership and game attendance, as well as increased coverage in mainstream media. A noteworthy trend accompanying this evolution is technology companies stepping up as sponsors of women’s sports teams and leagues, bridging the gap between the worlds of technology and sports. The 2023 – 2024 edition of the Women in Sports Marketing Partnerships Report, authored by SponsorUnited, revealed a 22% annual increase in sponsorships for women’s professional sports, highlighting the growing influence of female athletes and leagues worldwide. 

Key partnerships that exemplify this trend include:

  • In 2022, Google becoming the International Basketball Federation’s first-ever global partner of women's basketball and the Women’s Basketball World Cup; 
  • Microsoft agreeing a multi year partnership with WNBA’s Atlanta Dream team in 2022, and providing financial support and advanced technology, such as Microsoft Azure. Microsoft also sponsors the team’s “Power Her Dreams” clinics, which encourage girls to learn more about science and technology in a basketball context; and
  • In the UK, Adobe entering a three-year technology and marketing partnership with the Football Association (FA), becoming the title sponsor of the Women’s FA Cup. This partnership granted the competing teams with access to Adobe Express along with relevant training, facilitating the creation of high quality social media and brand content.

The recent influx of sponsorship from leading technology companies has significantly strengthened the financial foundation and marketing ingenuity of women's sports. Notable advancements include: 

  • Viewership - In 2023, women’s sports saw a notable rise in audience engagement, with a 16% rise in average viewing time and a record 46.7 million television viewers. Online streams of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 jumped by 75% on BBC iPlayer, attracting 15.6 million new viewers. Post-tournament, 43% of these viewers continued to engage with women's sports. Live event attendance also grew to 2.6 million; 
  • Social media – Technological sponsorship has greatly enhanced content creation quality for women’s sports. TikTok has been a pivotal platform in this advancement, as shown by the Women’s Super League, which saw a 268% surge in video views year-on-year, reaching 150 million views. Similarly, the then-named TikTok Women’s Six Nations, experienced a staggering 586% increase in viewership on the platform; and 
  • Investments - Recent data underscores the commercial viability of women's sports. A report by the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, conducted in the context of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, showed a significant return on investment for sponsors, with every dollar invested in women's sports sponsorships yielding over seven dollars in customer value. This finding highlights the lucrative potential of investing in women's sports.

These sponsorships symbolise a commitment to gender equality and providing a platform for increased visibility and professionalisation. This trend is expected to continue, with sponsors leveraging technology to enhance fan engagement and further promote women's sports. The positive feedback loop of sponsorship and visibility is creating a more equitable environment and promises a progressive future for the industry.


technology, women in tech, sport, women in sport, women sport leagues, marketing partnerships