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- 07 March 2014 00:00
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The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) have launched a new campaign titled ‘Say Yes to Success’ which aims to secure increases in both commercial investment for, and media coverage of, women’s sport.
The campaign comes with the WSFF’s research showing that the success of women’s sports on the pitch isn’t being matched by progress off it.
Despite real progress in the development of commercial partnerships in women’s cycling, football, netball and rowing, the WSFF have revealed that women’s sport has accounted for a pitiful 0.4% of the total value of reported UK sponsorship deals in sport since September 2011.
In addition, whilst interest from television companies in covering women’s sport is increasing, women’s sport makes up only 7% of all sports coverage in the media.
This statistic comes despite WSFF research revealing that there is an audience crying out for more coverage of women’s sport in the media.
"Women’s, cycling, football, netball and rowing have all shown that it is possible to create hugely popular and commercially viable women’s sports events and competitions,” said WSFF CEO Ruth Holdaway.
"We have also seen BT Sport, the BBC and Sky Sports all take steps to cover more women’s sport.
"But the research is clear.
"With only 0.4% of commercial investment and 7% of media profile more needs to be done.
"We are urging sponsors, the media and sports to Say Yes to Success for women’s sport.”
The good news is that women’s sport attracts extensive coverage during major global events such as the Olympic Games but at other times; the annual sporting calendar is dominated by a well-established series of sporting events that are almost exclusively male.
"Strengthening women’s sport in this country is one of my top priorities and I am right behind the ‘Say Yes to Success’ campaign,” said Minister for Sport and Equalities Helen Grant.
"I want to see more women getting involved in sport at all levels – from the playing pitch to the boardroom.
"But to help with that ambition we also need greater involvement from the media, more companies to back women’s sport as sponsors and our fantastic female sport stars to be given greater prominence as role models.
"Since London 2012 there have been some welcome moves that have put women’s sport higher up the agenda but there is still much more that can be done.”
For women’s sport to make progress, it must secure more media coverage, more commercial investment, and excite and attract the fan base.
To do this it needs to develop its own calendar of major events which fans, the media, and commercial partners come to expect, anticipate and look forward to.
The initiative calls on sponsors, the media and sports to Say Yes to Success by pledging their support for the WSFF campaign and joining the new WSFF Action Group to identify the key elements of successful commercial and media partnerships in women’s sport.
This is designed to help with the creation of a packed calendar of high quality events and competitions for women’s sport and to drive up overall levels of commercial investment and media profile.
"Our sportswomen have had amazing success in competition, so it is disappointing that progress off the pitch hasn't kept pace,” said the Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women's Sport Barbara Keeley.
"I back the 'Say Yes to Success' campaign and would ask that anyone that cares about women's sport to do the same."
To find out more about the WSFF ‘Say Yes to Success’ campaign, Click Here