GroupM to Double Investment in Women’s Sports

GroupM to Double Investment in Women’s Sports

GroupM, the media buying arm of advertising giant WPP, has announced plans to double its annual investment in women’s sports. This initiative comes as a response to the growing popularity and revenue potential of women’s sports. Starting in the 2024-25 upfront, GroupM will create a dedicated marketplace to facilitate deals with a variety of advertisers.

Consulting firm Deloitte estimates that women’s sports will generate over $1 billion in revenue in 2024. This significant growth is attributed to a rise in viewership, particularly in basketball with increasing ratings for NCAA tournament games and the WNBA. Despite this growth, women’s sports still only make up a small fraction of total media spend in the sports industry.

GroupM’s Chief Investment Officer, Matt Sweeney, emphasized the impact of investing in women’s sports and the need for elevated opportunities for advertisers. The company aims to provide innovative deals such as broadcast sponsorships, bespoke packages, and grassroots investments with leagues and athlete-owned entertainment companies. This new approach challenges the traditional way of investing in women’s sports and seeks to drive brand impact and increase ad effectiveness.

Data and measurement firm EDO has conducted studies on the impact of advertising in women’s sports on brand image and commercial objectives. One standout finding was that Adidas ads featuring female athletes were 69% more effective than the brand’s average ad on broadcast and cable in 2023. This highlights the growing opportunities for advertisers in women’s sports and the potential for significant brand impact.

Denise Ocasio, Executive Director of Investment at GroupM, emphasized the commitment to delivering advertisers with bespoke opportunities in the women’s sports marketplace. With fast-growing audiences and high viewership, women’s sports programming is becoming increasingly popular and competitive in terms of ratings. Advertising alongside women’s sports has shown to be effective, with the potential to drive brand impact and optimize business outcomes.

GroupM’s decision to double its investment in women’s sports and create a dedicated marketplace signifies a significant shift in the industry. By providing innovative opportunities for advertisers and recognizing the potential of women’s sports programming, GroupM is paving the way for a more inclusive and impactful advertising landscape.

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