The latest research from Ampere Analysis reveals the increasing global appetite for women’s football competitions. In fact, 7% of consumers globally reported interest in international women’s football competitions in the third quarter of 2023, up 29% on figures reported at the beginning of the year, with South Africa, Brazil and Sweden seeing the highest rates of interest. To put these numbers into context, 22% of consumers are fans of international men’s competitions, a figure which has actually declined from 24% in the third quarter of 2019.
The growth in interest in women’s football builds on the success of the 2022 UEFA European Women's Football Championship, which scored a 44% increase in global interest in women’s football in Q3 last year, with the largest impact felt in Europe. Moreover, there were big wins for the Women’s World Cup itself. In particular, the impact of securing a place in the Final was substantial. The winner, Spain, saw interest in the Women’s World Cup up 80%, while for the runner-up, interest in the UK in the Women’s World Cup hit an all-time high of 10%.
For joint hosts, Australia and New Zealand, the tournament achieved the goal of driving interest in women’s football in markets where the Women’s World Cup typically is not as popular. Australia saw the largest growth in interest in 2023, shooting from just 3% of consumers in Q1 2023 to 9% in Q3 2023, a growth of 247%. This highlights the importance of hosting the event in emerging women’s football markets to accelerate development of the game globally, Ampere noted.
According to the report, as interest in the competition, and in women’s football as a whole, is still nascent, free-to-air coverage of international tournaments will be pivotal in growing the women’s game globally, and therefore, in generating more interest in national competitions.
“The 2023 Women’s World Cup has done an incredible job of boosting global awareness and interest in the Women’s game, creating new fanbases. It is now up to domestic football bodies to capitalize on this interest in international football in the period between major global and regional tournaments and drive engagement with their own leagues and competitions,” said Isabelle Charnley, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis.