The recently released World at Her Feet report suggests women’s football is more popular than ever. A predicted one-billion viewers are preparing for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup – as are the many brands getting behind this summer’s tournament with exciting tie-in campaigns.
Released on May 29th, the World at Her Feet report is one of many changes that’s helping form a new narrative around women’s football. Just last month, Manchester City Manager, Pep Guardiola, corrected a reporter who claimed City could win the first ever domestic treble, with "the women have won it"… and respected football figures aren’t the only ones getting behind the movement.
Many leading brands are making changes in order to level out the playing field – in fact, the BBC has dedicated a whole new campaign to the cause. They’ve kicked things off with an empowering trailer championing the 2019 Women’s World Cup, dominated by an evocative anthem that’s been reworked by rapper Ms Banks. Originally written by Fort Minor, the new lyrics send out a powerful message about "unifying people all over the world" – and the BBC have given substance to their new sound by promising to be the "biggest destination for all women’s sport action this summer".
The BBC isn’t the only brand to use sound to tell a story and show their support either – Lucozade Sport decided to follow suit with a song named Three Lionesses. In an industry that harnesses such a high amount of passion, it’s no surprise sports brands often use emotive techniques to market themselves, and rewriting Three Lions – arguably one of the most iconic songs in English football – is a clever way to get their consumers engaged. In this Women’s World Cup version, the names of football stars Nobby Stiles and Bobby Moore have been switched to their female counterparts, Jordan Nobbs and Jade Moore – and placed thoughtfully alongside powerful lyrics like "same pride, same meaning… never stopped us dreaming". This inspiring retelling of a much-loved story addresses the issues of equality on the pitch in a subtly empowering way – reminding supporters that football is for everyone in just 60 seconds.
Lucozade is just one of many brands capitalising on the growing popularity of women’s football, and deals are being struck left, right and centre before the cup kicks off this summer. Barclays has recently paid £10-million to sponsor the UK’s Women’s Super League, Visa signed a seven-year deal with UEFA Women’s Football, and Gatorade’s global sponsorship of Manchester City now includes the women’s team. More impressively, Adidas has recently announced that 2019 will be the year women World Cup winners get the same bonus as their male counterparts for the very first time.
All these partnerships mean we can probably expect to see many more memorable ads paving the way for the future of women in sport – ushering a new era, and a new facet to sports marketing.