What’s driving the increasing interest in women’s sport

Rishad Dsouza
October 01, 2021, 12:11 PM GMT+0

Women’s sport has made massive strides in reaching new fans lately. This is evidenced by the sharp spike in consumption figures of major women’s events across various sporting codes. For example, the women’s versions of global events such as the FIFA World Cup (2019), Rugby World Cup (2017) and T20 Cricket World Cup (2020) have all witnessed significant growth in viewership numbers during their most recent editions.

Almost one in two people across the world think that such major events are instrumental to the rise in the profile of women’s sport overall (42%). That’s according to data from a YouGov white paper, which surveys consumers in 13 markets.

A third of consumers believe that the growing interest in watching women’s sport can be attributed to consumers having played those sports in their childhood (35%). A similar portion of consumers believe it is recommendations from family and friends that gets people into women’s sport (32%).

So, since we’ve established that most people recognise an association between watching major events and the development of a sustained interest in women’s sport, what are the events and tournaments that are attracting the most interest? The same research reveals it.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup ranks first among consumers in the 13 markets spanning the United States to China, with three in ten saying they are somewhat interested or that it is one of their top interests (31%). WTA tennis is a very close second (30%), with WNBA in third spot (25%).

Women’s sport is on the up, but on the whole, there is some way to go before it can bridge the gap to the reach of men’s sport. For deeper analysis on the drivers behind women’s sport – including country-specific data, download our white paper.

Download the full whitepaper here.