In the grand tapestry of investment, while the allure of high-risk, high-reward ventures like crypto is undeniable, the consistent and sustainable gains promised by women’s sports cannot be overlooked.
Destiny Washington, an Associate Manager at Wasserman’s The Collective, recently penned an insightful piece on TechCrunch titled “Women’s sports investment deserves the same consideration tech receives.” In this article, Washington delves into a fascinating comparison. She presents a hypothetical situation where the value of women’s sports leagues, initially estimated at an impressive $32 billion, plunges into an $8 billion deficit.
This dramatic illustration prompts reflection on the outcome of such an investment. In reality, the mentioned figures mirror instances from the crypto market. Despite this stark resemblance, the volatile crypto sector continues to attract investment, while women’s sports–with its potential–struggle to garner comparable attention.
It’s undeniable that there’s an evolving future for crypto, and high-risk assets have their rightful place in the investment ecosystem. However, when balancing a portfolio, stability is essential. Women’s sports, continually escalating in monetary value, present a consistent growth solution that stands out in stark contrast to the unpredictable crypto sector. Despite the evident opportunity, a reticence persists towards investing in women’s sports, a sector that has proven its merit repeatedly.
A comprehensive study conducted by The Collective, a division of Wasserman, in collaboration with RBC, titled The New Economy of Sports, provides empirical data and compelling arguments that highlight the tremendous potential of investing in women’s sports.
Key Findings from the Wasserman Collective & RBC Study:
- The Stark Reality of the Pay Gap: Despite their unparalleled commitment and talent, professional women athletes typically earn 21 times less than their male peers. Some sports, like tennis, are inching closer to pay equality, but many still reflect a yawning disparity, which doesn’t correspond to the athletes’ skill or game quality.
- Female Athletes and Their Unique Challenges: Factors like pregnancy, childbirth, and the natural aging process pose additional economic hurdles for women athletes, often leading to a significant erosion of their career earnings. Consequently, women find themselves doubly reliant on sponsorships and endorsements compared to their male counterparts.
- A Case for Fan and Brand Engagement: Women athletes, despite their restricted earnings, consistently overdeliver in terms of fan and brand engagement. Yet, a staggering 90% of partnership dollars are channeled towards male athletes. The prevailing sponsorship compensation model, tethered to audience size, seems to sidestep the distinct value proposition women athletes bring to the table.
- The Untapped Audience of Women’s Sports: The misconception that women’s sports are niche needs dispelling. A robust 86% of general sports enthusiasts have shown keen interest in women’s sports. These aficionados aren’t just female; they represent both genders, skew younger, and are typically more affluent and educated than fans predominantly following men’s sports.
- More Than a Game – The Social Catalyst: Women’s sports have metamorphosed into powerful platforms for advocacy and activism. Their influences are far-reaching, establishing them as global changemakers. As a testament, 75% of their followers feel that sports teams and athletes should vocally support social causes. Women’s sports fans also exhibit an 89% higher propensity to engage in social action when inspired by their favorite athletes.
- The Financial Incentive: Contrary to outdated notions, female athletes provide unmatched brand value and business impact, given their deep-rooted relationships with fans. Rather than being fleeting investments, they signify long-term, exponential growth with higher returns projected over extended periods.
This corresponds with the broader trend in the realm of women’s sports, as illuminated by the findings from the Nielsen Sports report titled ‘The Ascendance of Women’s Sports.’ The comprehensive study carried out across eight key markets unveiled that 84% of sports enthusiasts showcased their keen interest in women’s sports, accompanied by a balanced engagement of 51% male viewership. Additionally, within these markets, 45% of the general populace expressed openness to attending live women’s sporting events, and an equal 46% conveyed their eagerness to watch more if women’s sports were easily accessible on free-to-air television. The investigation also underscored the growth potential achievable by capturing the attention of those who presently exhibit no interest in women’s sports: 38% of respondents in this category indicated a prospective interest upon exposure.
“I’m proud to be part of a movement that recognizes the potential in women’s sports. Women’s golf embodies untapped excellence where dedication and skill weave captivating narratives. This investment fuels diversity, global growth, and positive change in sports. The surging interest aligns with our brand’s trajectory. Witnessing our golfers’ dedication, I’m confident in their journey. We’re amplifying their narrative and contributing to this transformative shift.“
– Stuart McKinnon, President, NXXT Golf.
This underscores a significant opportunity. Notably, brands seeking affiliation with women’s sports should pay heed, considering that a substantial three-quarters of those displaying interest in women’s sports can readily recall at least one associated brand. Impressively, 63% of individuals advocate for brands to invest in both women’s and men’s sports, underscoring the potential for commercial expansion in women’s sports holistically.
The constant ebb and flow of money into the unpredictable realms of cryptocurrencies seems paradoxical when juxtaposed against the more stable and promising domain of women’s sports. Investors stand at a crossroads: to chase fleeting profit or to foster sustainable, long-term growth? Women’s sports, as the data suggests, is not just an investment in business but an investment in a more equitable, vibrant future.
This article was originally published by Audrey Nesbitt on Hackernoon.