June sees the start of the 8th Women’s World Cup in France, with Phil Neville’s Lionesses hoping to improve on their 3rd place finish from 2015. In the last 2 years particularly, women’s football has seen an increase in popularity with attendance on the rise and more media coverage culminating in the recent multi-million-pound sponsorship of the WSL with Barclays.
With this increased attention and awareness, it’s no surprise to see brands getting in on the action.
However, the women’s game is still facing issues in terms of establishment recognition, making it more important than ever for brands to not pay lip-service.
Here are 3 x brands showing how committed they are in championing women’s football.
Visa’s sponsorship of the Women’s World Cup isn’t a one-off activation. The brand signed a deal with UEFA at the end of last year for a seven-year partnership, which made them the biggest global sponsor of women’s football. This was followed last month by a commitment from Visa to spend as much on marketing at this year’s competition as they did at the Men’s competition in Russia last year.
Visa’s campaign for France’s 2019 competition focuses on the idea that ‘one moment’ (on or off the pitch) can make a difference to the next generation of Women.
The ad focuses on key moments for budding players, such as receiving their first pair of boots or scoring a goal in the back garden.
It’s a positive, welcoming and engaging message designed to encourage a new generation of players to take up the game. And with women’s football on the precipice of a big cultural breakthrough in so many countries, this feels just right.
BBC has launched their Change the Game campaign, championing a summer broadcast schedule that includes more women’s sport than ever before.
To announce the BBC’s coverage of this year’s tournament they have worked with rapper Ms Banks to rework the Fort Minor anthem ‘Remember the Name’.
The film features some of the world’s leading footballers including Norway’s Ada Hegerberg, Holland’s Vivianne Miedema and England’s Lucy Bronze.
Following on from the work BBC did for the Men’s World Cup last year it’s good to see the women’s game getting the same investment and recognition.
The BBC's OOH creative mirrors that same attitude and message also. We like (a lot).
3. COMMERZBANK & GERMAN NATIONAL TEAM
Something a bit different for the final example sees the German Women’s national team creating an ad with their sponsor Commerzbank.
The film tackles the stereotypes around gender discrimination head-on, including the football establishment’s own role in diminishing the successes of its female players.
Whether that’s the tea set (yes, tea set) the team were given for winning their first tournament, or the fact that, due to a lack of investment in the team, very few people know who the players are.
Despite all of this, the team is as determined, as ever, to achieve success. A point very well illustrated by the killer line, “We don’t have balls. But we know how to use them.”
Commerzbank’s role in the film is nearly non-existent, save for a 2-second flash of the logo, but the film is all the better for it. Trying to give the brand a role in the film would almost certainly have felt forced and ultimately undermined the message the team was trying to get across.
It’s great to see the Women’s game finally getting the attention it deserves. These brands haven’t been afraid to call out the issues affecting the game at the moment, and ultimately that’s the best way to push the game forward.
SEEN. has been compiled this month between our Senior Account Manager Matt & our PR & Marketing Manager, Emily.
Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge their cultural knowledge? You can drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.