Women´s Football commercial evolution, a conversation with Jonathan Verge
May has being a great month for Female Football with the female teams of Atletico de Madrid, Barcelona FC and RCD Espanyol packing stadiums, Copa de la Reina final being broadcasted for millions of fans, and the Women’s Champions League final and the FIFA Women’s World Cup just around the corner; for this occasion we have interviewed our Commercial Manager Jonathan Verge about sponsorship into the Women´s Football, to get an inside about what could come up into the future.
First of all, Jonathan. Which female team do you support or is your favorite? And what do you like about it?
I don’t have any team preference. I like to follow the main leagues and championships such as Champions League, Eurocopa or the World Cup.
From your commercial point of view. What is your opinion about the evolution that female football had these past months?
It is undeniable that women’s football is growing exponentially worldwide. According to a Nielsen Sports study, sponsorship agreements have increased between 2013 and 2017 by 37% and their monetary value by 49%. There is also an audience of 105 million people interested in women’s football, offering numerous opportunities for sponsors, TV rights and media.
We have seemed already the women´s teams of Espanyol and Atlético de Madrid almost pack the stadiums where the major competitions of the men’s team are played, what do you think it takes for female football’ teams to achieve this same result?
Aspects like the price of tickets or game schedule have a certain importance. However, from my point of view, the fundamental aspect is knowing how the emotional bond between fans and club, always linked to history, tradition, and values. Athletic Bilbao is a clear example of this.
Besides media coverage and broadcasting, what do you think is needed for sponsors to invest in women’s football and make it commercially attractive?
It is important to understand that sponsorship is a tool to approach society. Besides on and offline visibility, the association of values, as well as easy engagement with athletes and clubs, are key aspects to attract more and more brands, and women´s football has it all.
On the other hand, the closeness of women’s football means that fans can be in greater contact with players compared to other sports. This is a very attractive aspect for brands because it allows them to make activations much more flexible and above with less investment.
Finally, always establishing a correct KPI is essential to evaluate the success of any sponsorship.
What do you think will be the commercial outcome after the FIFA Women’s World Cup? What do you think we will see in the future?
Personally, I think it will be a great tournament, with many more teams compared to the previous World Cup in Canada, more interest from the sponsors and estimated visibility of 1 billion people on TV. Regarding the future, I think that women’s football will continue to grow, evolve and become more professional.