By Ross Young
An important presentation at the iGB Live! Expo in Amsterdam addressed the meteoric rise of professional women’s sports. But despite growing participation, ticket sales and TV viewing figures, the report found that the availability of women’s sports betting markets is limited.
Magic Word Media’s managing director, Simon Young, was in Amsterdam for iGB Live!. It struck him that out of the hundreds of thousands of words we write monthly for our sports betting clients, virtually zero are about women’s sports.
The International Betting Integrity Association’s report, Breaking Barriers: Assessing Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges, released to a small audience at the RAI convention centre, showed interest in betting on women’s sports is rising fast. So, too, is the number of women bettors.
So why is Magic Word Media not being asked to write about it more?
Are sports betting platforms missing a trick?
Our writers follow the women’s games in football, tennis, cricket, volleyball and more, so they’re ready and willing to produce high-quality and relevant content to help operators capture some of the growing market.
But so far, those orders are not coming through.
Well, as sports betting copywriting experts, we’re still finding we produce perhaps 99% of copy for our partners on men’s sports. We suspect most of the traders are men, too.
But as the insightful report from the German Sport University of Cologne illustrates, the popularity of women’s sports has increased exponentially over the past five years.
Therefore, we see a massive opportunity for sports betting platforms to produce quality copy that showcases the availability of women’s sports betting markets, which will drive new sports bettors to the platform.
This ground-breaking report's key points highlight how much women’s sports (and betting on women’s sports) has increased in the past five years.
We can help you create outstanding copy to promote your women’s sports betting markets and attract new sports bettors.
The recent growth of women’s sport
The rise in women’s sports in the past five years has been meteoric.
A recent report by Nielsen Sports found that 84% of people across eight key markets (US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand) are now interested in women’s sports. At the same time, just under half of those surveyed admitted that they would watch more women’s sports if it were available on free-to-watch TV.
Statistics show that in 2022, the average viewer watched 8 hours and 44 minutes of women’s sports, up from 3 hours and 47 minutes in 2021. In the UK alone, domestic women’s sport was watched by 37.6 million people in 2022, eclipsing the previous year’s record by more than four million viewers.
The rise of women’s sports is also illustrated by the viewing figures of some significant women’s sporting events in recent years. Forbes reported that a combined 1.12 billion viewers tuned into the 2019 women’s football World Cup, up 56% from the same tournament in 2015.
Organisers of the 2023 tournament in Australia and New Zealand are confident of hitting the 2 billion viewer mark, representing a remarkable achievement for the women’s game.
But it’s not just women’s football that has increased its global viewership in recent times. The study from IBIA Assessing Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges, which was released at iGB Live!, presents the following numbers from women’s sports in recent times:
Basketball: 145,519 spectators watched the 2022 World Cup live, making it the most-watched women’s basketball tournament ever. As the graphs below indicate, the average and total attendance at the 2022 World Cup in Australia more than doubled from the 2018 event in Spain:
(Source: IBIA, Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges, 2023, P6.)
Cricket: 1.95 million TV and online viewers watched the 2021 opening match of the women’s Hundred competition, making it the most-watched women’s cricket match in UK history. This is in keeping with the huge rise in viewing figures seen in the period from 2016-2022, as shown in the graphs below:
(Source: IBIA, Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges, 2023, P9.)
What is driving the increase in the popularity of women’s sports?
A 2022 Forbes piece highlighted that the recent increase in the popularity of women’s sports coincided with the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX in 1972. The legislation was passed in the United States to drive more equity in sports, and it is widely seen as a turning point for women’s sports, at least in North America.
However, the key to the growth in women’s sports in recent years, in our view, lies in changing societal perceptions and greater investment. Research shows that sponsorship investment in women’s sports has grown steadily since 2018, up 24% over the past five years.
Brands have realised the value of investing in women’s sports, and, as has been the case in men’s sports in recent years, money creates new opportunities for growth and progression. Female athletes compete for more money and are given more commercial opportunities outside their sports, providing greater coverage for talented female athletes.
Though women’s sport has typically received just 1% or 2% of total sports investment, the future looks much brighter for female athletes. In fact, more than 70% of sports executives believe that women’s sports revenues will grow by more than 15% in the next five years, according to a study by PwC.
Betting on women’s sports: A huge opportunity
Historically, betting on women’s sports was practically unheard of. You only need to go back a few years to recall that mainstream news outlets did not feature women’s sports. You would also be hard-pressed to find available women’s sports betting markets at major online sportsbooks. Things have changed considerably with the meteoric rise of women’s sports in recent years.
Research from IBIA shows how betting on women’s sports has increased significantly in the period from 2017 to 2022:
(Source: IBIA, Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges, 2023, P23.)
The graph shows that the number of people betting on women’s soccer has increased from just short of 200,000 in 2020 to more than 700,000 in 2022. Women’s tennis has also seen a considerable rise in the number of bettors in the same period, though basketball and cricket figures remain about the same.
The IBIA report also highlights the increased interest in women betting on women’s sports, as illustrated below:
(Source: IBIA, Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges, 2023, P26.)
These graphs show that the compound annual growth rate for females betting on women’s football, tennis and basketball is between 10-30%, which is remarkable in such a short time. Crucially, as the report indicates, “the total volume of bets on women’s sports has grown more among women than men over time (2017-2022).”
This data is exceptionally valuable for sports betting platforms, as it indicates the emergence of new opportunities the women’s game presents. Namely, women sports fans are placing significantly more bets on sports (mainly football) than they have been in the past.
The potential growth of betting on women’s sports
In addition to the fact that sports fans are now betting on women’s sporting events in unprecedented numbers, the growth of live viewing figures in women’s sports is particularly exciting as far as the growth of women’s sports betting markets are concerned.
In 2022, women’s broadcast hours were up by 188% on 2021, indicating the significant increase in the number of people who are now watching live women’s sports compared to just a few years ago.
Naturally, this signifies the huge potential for sports betting platforms keen to increase their live sports betting markets, enabling them to tap into new segments of the sports-viewing public by offering varied live betting markets on leading women’s sports.
But as is the case with all types of sports betting, the key for sports betting platforms lies in showcasing the depth of women’s sports betting markets available – something we can help you with.
The need for world-class sports betting content
Quality sports betting SEO content is at the heart of all online gambling platforms, and Magic Word Media is one of the world leaders in this regard. Whether you’re keen to showcase your sports betting markets or upcoming sports events, we can help.
We work with several industry-leading sports betting platforms to deliver exceptional sports betting copy that is well-informed, current, and SEO-friendly.
Our content writers have written extensively about myriad sports and leagues, from the NFL to the EPL and everything in between. We have also created long-form articles that take a deep dive into the different types of sports bets that you can place on online platforms, from handicaps to Asian totals.
And while we have written occasionally about women’s sports betting, we haven’t done anywhere near enough to reflect the popularity and growth potential of this up-and-coming sports betting market.
Most of our sports betting clients focus on copy for men’s sporting events. Still, as we have illustrated in this article, there is so much potential in investing in quality copy to promote the available betting markets for women’s sporting events.
So, if you want to get ahead of the trend, investing in expert content that reflects the women’s sports betting markets you have available is a great way to go about it.
We can work with you for a one-off project or to serve as your long-term sports betting copy partner. We’re sports betting copywriting experts.
Are you ready to lead the way with compelling copy that promotes the depth of your women’s sports betting markets? Just say the magic word – we’ll be delighted to work with you. Please get in touch with us via our website or give us a call.
References & Further Reading
Adgate, Brad. Forbes, Popularity of Women’s Sports Surges Approaching 50th Anniversary of Title IX. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradadgate/2022/04/07/popularity-of-womens-sports-has-been-surging/?sh=4da7c1be3613
Glass, Alana. Forbes, FIFA Women’s World Cup Breaks Viewership Records. Available from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alanaglass/2019/10/21/fifa-womens-world-cup-breaks-viewership-records/?sh=324ce8df1884
IBIA, Breaking Barriers: Assessing Women’s Sports, Betting and Integrity Challenges. Available from: https://ibia.bet/study-on-womens-sports/
Nielsen Sports, Global Interest in women’s sports is on the rise. Available from: https://nielsensports.com/global-interest-womens-sports-rise/
Reuters, Organisers target record viewership at 2023 Women’s World Cup – Australia FA boss. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/organisers-target-record-viewership-2023-womens-world-cup-australia-fa-boss-2023-01-27/
Sportcal, Explainer: growth in women’s sport – the drivers, impacts, and future. Available from: https://www.sportcal.com/features/explainer-growth-in-womens-sport-the-drivers-impacts-and-future/
Sports Pro Media, Study: Women’s sports revenue set to grow more than 15% over next three to five years. Available from: https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/womens-sport-growth-investment-private-equity-pwc-survey/
Weil, Dan. The Street, Women’s Sport Becoming Bigger Business, Better Investment. Available from: https://www.thestreet.com/sports/womens-sports-becoming-bigger-business-better-investment
Women’s Sports Trust, Broadcast audiences grow significantly year-on-year for women’s sport following Women’s Euros success. Available from: https://www.womenssporttrust.com/broadcast-audiences-grow-significantly-year-on-year-for-womens-sport-following-womens-euros-success/
Women’s Sports Trust, Record-Breaking Figures for Women’s Sports Viewership in 2022. Available from: https://www.womenssporttrust.com/record-breaking-figures-for-womens-sport-viewership-in-2022/