A Spotlight on Women’s Sports

Author: Roxanne Khasow

Women have always played and competed in sports, but the growth in landscape over the last few years has been unprecedented. When looking at the women’s sports landscape, the growth in popularity, fandom, attendance, and viewership can be attributed to a list of reasons, but one that sticks out the most is the unwillingness of an athlete to give up despite the conditions they are presented with, and as things are changing, this determination is finally paying off. 

If you build it, they will come. Distribution is increasing and games are becoming more accessible both to watch and to attend as a fan. The Sports Innovation Lab reported that Ally Financial, who is a partner of the NWSL increased their media investment with CBS to ensure that the 2022 NWSL Championship Game could take place during prime time. The game was then aired nationally by CBS and Paramount+ which led to a 71% increase in viewership. 

The Caitlin Clark effect. By now, we’re sure that you recognize the name. She has captivated the interest of fans from coast to coast and is without a doubt already changing the game of basketball. Clark is a star all on her own, she was the #1 WNBA Draft pick in 2024, made her college debut in 2020, and has represented the United States at an international level. She also signed endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, State Farm, and Panini, all before turning pro. 

The strength of support. The PWHL kicked off their inaugural season earlier this year and have been breaking records since game one. Most recently, a sellout crowd of 21,105 at Montreal’s Bell Centre, which surpassed the previous record of 19,285 at Toronto’s Scotiabank Area on February 16th. The work behind the scenes is a huge reason for part of the success that the league is seeing so far. After the dissolution of a previous women’s hockey league, and lots of back and for the between athletes and associations, the PWHL offers a sustainable, professional league with a long-term business model that supports and invests in the growth of the game and the league itself. 

Beyond the success of the sports itself, women’s sports are also attracting new crowds and demographics that many traditional sports have struggled to engage with in the past. Women’s sports are growing in popularity among sports fans, both new and old. They are growing among pop culture and are cool to watch and attend. And women’s sports are growing among younger generations – who are finally able to see themselves represented on the court. The time is now for brands to support women’s sports. By supporting women’s sports today, brands will be sure that they are on the right side of her-story, as the momentum and excitement only continues to build.