Narrowing the Pay Gap in Women’s Sports | Hacker Noon

@brianwallaceBrian Wallace

Founder @ NowSourcing. Contributor @ Hackernoon, Advisor @GoogleSmallBiz, Podcaster, infographics

Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Katie Ledecky: over the past couple of years these women have become household names in the field of sports. It is important to note that not only have these women become popular in the realm of women’s sports, but also in the overarching category that envelopes the athletic world: televised sporting. 

Up until recently the divide between women’s and men’s sports was vast in all categories. Men got more air time, more money, more sponsorships and just in general more opportunities. However, there has been a large change in attitudes towards women’s sports in the last couple of years. 

In 2020, The National Women’s Soccer League exceeded viewership by nearly 300% amassing a total of over 635,000 views. During the championship game of the NWSL, they received viewership on par with that of a standard televised MLB game. These two statistics alone promote the theory that the demand for women’s sports is high. 

At least 66% of people have reported that they actively follow one women’s sport. This correlates to over 84% of sports fans reporting an interest in women’s sports. If the demand is there, why are women’s sports not as prevalent as men’s?

The main reason seems to stem from funding given to women’s sports programs at the college level. With women making up over half of the student demographic at Division One Schools, they only receive 44% of recruitment opportunities. 

The unequal representation derives from the long held belief that women can’t compete at the competitive level that their male counterparts have. This belief is not validated and it also can be a dangerous marketing mentality. The inferior stereotyping of women’s sports allows for companies to overlook a very lucrative opportunity: sponsorships.

When companies overlook women’s sports, they overlook a valuable demographic that could be the key to brand retention. Over 75% of the women’s sporting audience demographic are more likely to remember a brand association than the demographic of male sports. 

The bottom line is that women’s sports deserve a fighting chance in both from an economic and social standpoint. 

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