After talking a good game when it comes to backing female athletes, brands appear to now be putting their money where their mouths are.
Sponsorships of women athletes when measured by the number of deals grew 20% in the year ending Sept. 2022, compared with 2% for men, according to a new recent report by SponsorUnited, a sports and entertainment platform that tracks sponsorships and endorsements. The report looked at 6,330 sponsorships across professional and college sports from Sept. 2021 to Sept. 2022.
Men, though, still dominate when it comes to dollars. All 10 of the world’s highest-paid athletes are men, according to Forbes, whose annual list includes earnings both on and off the field of play.
But there are signs that female athletes are proving to be a better investment when it comes to sponsorships. Their power to win over audiences is undeniable—and their higher engagement on social media is making brands seek out more partnerships with them.
Among the SponsorUnited’s findings were that tennis and golf saw considerable growth in brand deals; and Alex Morgan, a striker and a captain for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, became the most-endorsed female athlete of the year by volume with 27 deals.