Women in football have been gaining some support in the recent past. With American football star Megan Rapinoe becoming an internet celebrity, the game gained a great degree of visibility.
Now, research has corroborated this fact.
Around 314 million people globally are interested in women’s football, according to the latest report from the United States-based data company Nielsen, with interest as high as 40% of the population in the countries that competed in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH PROVE?
Holland, which hosted and won the Women’s Euros in 2017, is the most gender-equal nation in terms of interest, with 59% of its inhabitants interested in both men’s and women’s football.
Nielsen Women’s Football Report conducted research in 24 countries.
The prize money has doubled since the last tournament, from $15 million in 2015 to $30 million. There have been a number of high-profile women’s football sponsorship deals in recent months. Barclay’s has a £10 million commitment to the Women’s Super League. Visa’s also has a seven-year sponsorship agreement with Uefa’s women’s events.
There were also record attendances for women’s football in Mexico, Spain, Italy and England in 2018 and 2019.
More than that, it is a behavioural change that has taken place. Women are actively choosing football as an activity they prefer.
Sixteen million women play football globally which is equal to the number that do yoga or play tennis. In the United Kingdom, 44% of Facebook conversations about football were driven by women and 40% of those on Instagram.
The report had an interesting observation that will break some stereotypes and mental walls. It found that 54% of women’s football fans around the world are male and 46% are female. However, this runs contrary to the marketing strategy of the English Football Association, whose head of women’s football, Baroness Sue Campbell, has spoken in the past of the organisation’s aim to target young girls and families.
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Things show that it’s not enough in the future to deny equal compensation to women by citing popularity. The report clearly shows that despite disadvantages, the sport is doing pretty good among women. It will soon become an argument for putting forward the demands.