4 OUR THOUGHTS ON Why women’s sport is attractive to brands Like many of you, the team here at Leo Burnett Sport & Entertainment are enjoying a spectacular summer of women’s sport. England have won the Women’s Cricket World Cup , whilst also courageously getting to the semi -finals of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 and still have the chance to impress in the Women’s Rugby World Cup kicking off in Ireland in mid- August… I’m sure you would agree that these are unbelievably exciting times for women’s sport! In light of this success, we have taken a closer look at women’s sport using our sponsorship research tool, Sponsor DNA. This has helped us to identify which brands were a good fit with the UEFA Women’s EURO and ICC Women’s World Cup properties based on common image perceptions and it also allows us to explore why women’s sport is becoming increasingly more attractive to brands. Leading the way with the ‘best perceived fit’ with the UEFA Women’s EURO is insurance giant Aviva. Both property and brand scored well on ‘Trust’, providing a close correlation between the two. Not surprisingly, after a long standing relationship, Aviva recently announced that they have extended their contract with the Rugby Union in the UK. This research open’s up a potential avenue in their sponsorship interests, as exploring women’s sport could prove an interesting direction to take. Brands also showing a strong match with the tournament are P&G brand Ariel, due to strong synergies with the perception of both entities being 'Family Friendly’. Another women’s sport that has taken the UK by storm is the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, finishing in July, with England being crowned champions at the expense of India. Interestingly, the top 3 brands that are most suited to the p r o p e r t y a r e n o n s p o n s o r s , N i ve a ( 1 st ) , F l a s h ( 2 nd ) a n d S k o d a ( 3 r d ) , w h o a r e a k e y c o m p e t i t o r of the major sponsor, Nissan. Both events score way above the average for ‘family friendly', 'trust’ and ‘momentum which presents a fantastic opportunity for brands seeking to capitalise on these key brand metrics. Unfortunately for any brand contemplating a partnership in women’s sport, there is still a discrepancy in media value compared to male sports. Although this area has greatly improved, as we saw with viewing figures being smashed for England v France at the Women’s EURO with a 3.3 million peak audience in the UK on CH4. Long-standing sponsors such as McDonald’s (UEFA Women’s EURO) and Nissan (Women’s Cricket) are now seeing the benefits of their early investment. Sponsor DNA tells us that McDonald’s scored highest in terms of their association with the UEFA Women’s EURO and importantly their longevity does not demonstrate a quick PR stunt. See Pace Setters for the case study of how McDonald’s activated their partnership this summer. There are some great opportunities for brands to explore off the back of the recent growth in Women’s Sport. Momentum is certainly building and no doubt it would be an exciting prospect for brands to consider, adding key strategic properties to their portfolio. Upcoming events and properties include the Women’s Rugby World Cup in August, European Hockey Championships and the Rugby League World Cup between November and December.