Creating a sports sponsorship framework

This article is part of a series of articles on creating a sports sponsorship framework. Read more.

Why it matters

Women’s sport is typically less cluttered – and often cheaper to sponsor – than its male equivalent. However, sponsors eyeing women’s sports properties should tread carefully: brands seen to be jumping on a bandwagon or lacking commitment will receive a harsh response from audiences.


  • Women’s sport provides almost a blank storytelling canvas. Brands have an opportunity to elevate these athletes, and transform them into household names.
  • Brand support should be seen as unconditional and not simply a media buy. Nike faced a backlash after reducing sponsorship payments to female athletes for “underperformance” during pregnancies.
  • The biggest challenge for women’s sport is that it presents a longer term, strategic investment at a time when brand marketers are under pressure to deliver short-term results.