A new report from Nielsen Sports has found that over 84% of sports fans take an interest in women’s sport.
The survey, which was carried out in eight of the most commercially active sports markets in the world (UK, USA, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand), found that over half of the 84% were male.
Additionally, it was found that out of the general population of all eight countries, 66% take an interest in at least one women’s sport.
These findings will not be surprising for the average sports fan, as it would definitely be fair to say that there has been an increase in both media coverage and marketing of women’s sports, as many people have pushed for gender equality in the world of sport.
This is definitely the view of Nicholas Kemp, a sports fan from Colchester who claims that he has recently began to take an interest in women’s football. “I wouldn’t say that I am as big a fan of women’s football as I am of men’s football, but I definitely take an interest.
“I just love sport in general, especially football, and I am increasingly seeing that there is more and more women’s football on the TV, so I have found myself watching a lot of it.”
When asked about his take on the statistics from the report, Kemp stated “These statistics are pretty much what I would have expected. I definitely think women’s sports has progressed in the past decade, and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds.
“It is obviously the case that at the moment women’s sports aren’t as heavily supported as men’s sports. I myself still take more of an interest in male sport, but I think with the right funding and marketing, in a number of years time we will see women’s sport be held in a similar regard to men’s sport.”
In terms of football, this has been a revolutionary season for the women’s game. It is the first season that Manchester United have fielded a women’s side, and the most successful English female side, Arsenal, have dropped the word “Ladies” from their team name, as they continue to strive for equality between their men and women’s sides.
Intriguingly, the research also revealed that there tends to be a higher interest in female sport when it is staged alongside male events. For example, 89% of sports fans stated that they were interested in women’s athletics, and 86% regard themselves to be fans of women’s tennis. Athletics is a sport where events have always tended to be mixed gender affairs, whilst tennis always holds female and male events at the same time.
On the contrary, when it comes to sports where men’s and women’s events aren’t often staged together, interest levels aren’t as high. There is a 52% interest in female cricket, and a 43% interest in women’s football – although interest in women’s football still equates to a potential fan base of 105 million around the eight markets surveyed.