Creating a Lasting Impact with New Audiences: The Power of Grassroots

In today’s evolving landscape, brands are constantly seeking fresh avenues to connect, engage, and create lasting relationships with their target audiences. Recent research from the Women’s Sport Trust (WST) has illuminated a golden opportunity for brands: the untapped potential of strategic sports partnerships, especially in women’s sports.


Understanding The New Audience

Before diving into the nuances of these partnerships, it’s crucial to understand who this ‘new audience’ is. The WST study suggests that there’s a significant segment of the population that resonates more with brands associated with women’s sports than with those linked to men’s sports. With 16% of the British population more inclined to buy products from brands supporting women’s sport, and 60% believing brands should invest both in the men’s and women’s side of a sport that they support, the statistics are telling.

This ‘new audience’ is not just extensive but also passionate. They’re not only fans of the games but also advocates for equality, diversity, and representation. For them, supporting women’s sports is not just about the thrill of the game but also about championing broader societal values.


The Magnetic Pull of Women’s Sports Partnerships

High-profile sponsorships, such as O2’s backing of England’s women’s rugby team and Coca-Cola’s alliance with the FIFA Women’s World Cup, are enjoying significant awareness, with millions being cognizant of these collaborations. Such partnerships do more than just raise brand visibility; they signify a brand’s commitment to gender equality and empowerment.

Yet, the magic lies beyond the big leagues. The WST study shows that women-only deals are remarkably effective at drawing in new audiences and amplifying brand affinity. Brands partnering exclusively with women’s sports teams or events are curating a unique space where they not only gain the attention of avid female sports fans but also create a profound impact among women who value representation in every sphere of society.


From Passive Bystanders to Active Brand Advocates

What’s fascinating about this new audience is their transformative journey from passive onlookers to active brand advocates. Brands like Il Makiage, through their partnership with Women’s Super League club Arsenal, have not only captivated audience attention but have also succeeded in converting that attention into tangible brand consideration.

Moreover, these partnerships have a ripple effect. By focusing on women’s sports, brands are automatically sending a message about their stance on gender equality, community engagement, and grassroots development. This is not just sports sponsorship; this is a movement.


A Real-World Impact: Starling Bank’s Initiative

In the dynamic landscape of sports partnerships, brands can find inspiration from Starling Bank’s recent endeavors. Following the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, Starling, in collaboration with Gift of Kit, seized the opportunity to support grassroots women’s football. By offering free kits and coaching vouchers, they aren’t just promoting their brand; they’re investing in the future of the sport and forging lasting connections with an emerging audience.

This real-world commitment underscores our earlier point: to create a genuine and lasting impact, brands must go beyond superficial engagements and dive deep into the passions and aspirations of their audience. Starling Bank’s initiative with Gift of Kit illuminates the profound ripple effect such strategic partnerships can generate, turning casual observers into dedicated fans and consumers.

Charting the Path Forward

While the numbers and success stories paint a promising picture, it’s essential to approach these strategic sports partnerships with sincerity and long-term commitment. This isn’t about hopping onto the latest trend but about genuinely recognizing the value women’s sports bring to the table.

Brands should focus on authentic engagements, meaningful collaborations, and ensure that their partnerships align with their broader company values and goals. By doing so, they’re not just tapping into a new audience but are embedding themselves into the very fabric of a community that’s eager for recognition and representation.

In conclusion, the world of women’s sports sponsorship offers a realm of untapped potential. By forging strategic partnerships, brands have the power to create a lasting impact, resonate deeply with new audiences, and be part of a story much larger than themselves. It’s time for brands to play their part in this narrative and champion a future where women’s sports shine as brightly as their male counterparts.

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