Women’s Sports Looking Strong for Advertisers, Samba TV Says

Las Vegas Aces vs. Connecticut Sun in 2022 WNBA Finals
Ratings for the WNBA Finals were up 171% in 2022, Samba reported. (Image credit: Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Advertisers looking to reach a growing younger, diverse and high-income audience should be taking a look at women’s sports, according to a new report from Samba TV.

Samba points to an 81% ratings increase for the March Madness of the women’s college basketball champions, a 171% jump for the WNBA Finals and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship growing 453%.

“2022 was a breakout year for women’s sports and a watershed moment for female athletes and the industry overall,” Samba TV chief marketing officer Meredith Brace said. “Smart advertisers and broadcasters alike took advantage of the broad and growing appeal of women’s sports in 2022, and their investments were rewarded by massive double and triple-digit growth in audiences. The movement surrounding women’s sports and their diverse superfans provides an unprecedented opportunity to reach younger and more affluent audiences from every corner of the nation.” 

Samba TV notes that 39% of Gen Z sports fans are watching more women’s sports than a year ago. Samba TV’s data shows that women’s sports over-indexes in its share of more diverse, younger and wealthier viewers. 

The biggest advertisers in the Women’s March Madness were Nissan, Capital One, GEICO, DirecTV and Degree antiperspirant.

While TV offers advertisers big opportunities with women’s sports, Samba TV also pointed to stats from Relo Metric showing a 200% year-over-year increase in media value for in-stadium sponsorships during the 2022 Women’s Championship League semi-finals.

“Despite what is truly a near-universal appeal from an audience perspective, coverage of women’s sporting events still significantly lags behind where viewership interest tells us it should be,” Brace said. “With a strong and rapidly growing fanbase, engaged advertisers are seeing significant ROI and an incredible lineup of sporting event moments worth prime TV placements in the year ahead. 

“Broadcasters should take note for 2023 and give women’s sporting events the primetime placement they deserve,” she continued. “There has never been a better time for advertisers and broadcasters alike to tap into the extraordinary growth of live women’s sporting events.” ▪️

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.