Exclusive: Brand deals in women’s sports are on the rise
Brand deals for female athletes and teams grew 20% year-over-year in 2022, and USWNT star Alex Morgan was the most-endorsed athlete, per exclusive data from deal tracking platform SponsorUnited.
By the numbers: Morgan secured 27 brand deals between September 2021 and September 2022 to vault her to the top of the list. Her biggest sponsors include Coca-Cola, Google and Chipotle.
- Alex Morgan (soccer)
- Serena Williams (tennis)
- Naomi Osaka (tennis)
- Lexi Thompson (golf)
- Leyla Fernandez (tennis)
- Hanna Cavinder (basketball)
- Ali Krieger (soccer)
- Sue Bird (soccer)
- Venus Williams (tennis)
- Olivia Dunne (gymnastics)
Between the lines: The finance sector, already the most active among women's sports sponsors, increased their activity in the space by 30% to lead all verticals, followed by apparel/accessories and media.
- Women's golf saw the most growth, with the LPGA scoring 940 deals to beat out the WTA (923 deals) and the NWSL (496).
- Nike was the top sponsor in both college and the pros, beating out Adidas.
What they're saying: One key driver of this growth is the continued rise of social platforms, where female athletes' engagement outpaces their male counterparts, SponsorUnited CEO Bob Lynch tells Axios.
- "Brands are being pressured to be more data-driven, and what we're finding with female athletes and teams is that it's a great place to test and launch campaigns, similar to what we saw in the music festival space years ago."
- "They have incredibly passionate fan bases, and audiences both on television and in-person are up across the board, which makes it easier for brands to participate in this space."