Sunday, August 7, 2022

Lionesses will make “millions” after dollars, but business will depend on more than just profit

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Global brands such as Nike, Adidas and Pepsi will be on standby to offer multi-year deals to England’s outstanding sportswomen

Global brands including Nike, Adidas and Pepsi will be on standby to offer England’s outstanding sportswomen multi-year deals “worth millions, not thousands” after the team plays Germany in the final of the tournament on Sunday, according to sports marketing experts.

England’s Lionesses can rake in millions of pounds in sponsorship and endorsement deals after their sensational performance at Euro 2022.

However, winning won’t be the only factor that will have a “major impact” on the number of zeros on the checks offered.

Experts say players’ off-field performances will help determine the amount of fees they can claim, from the size of their social media followers to their voice on the societal issues that matter to their fans are important.

Star players like Alessia Russo – nicknamed “Lessi” by Ian Wright after Argentina’s Lionel Messi after her spectacular back-heel goal in England’s semi-final win over Sweden – and Golden Boot contender Beth Mead have their trade deals and more lucrative opportunities to choose from regardless of Sunday’s result, industry insiders believe.

Sports drink brands, car makers and food companies will be among those looking to secure brand ambassador deals with the Lionesses, but players will also solicit offers from e-sports and gaming companies and broadcasters keen for England’s athletes to promote their products and before their sports coverage.

“Women’s football is in a fever and a win for England on Sunday will put the rising stars of women’s football firmly in the sponsors’ spotlight,” said Rakesh Dhall, head of media and partnerships at digital creative agency 20ten, which has worked with clients such as McLaren’s F1 .

“We’re going to see a big push from brands to invest in women’s football…[and] Selecting specific stakeholders as brand ambassadors to drive campaigns and channel new marketing initiatives.

“This is not a flash in the pan… football fashion, esports and games, as well as traditional football sponsors like Heineken, Pepsi and Nissan are all looking for ways to find the next female voice to elevate their product portfolio,” said Mr. Dhall.

“We’re talking about potentially multi-year brand deals – and millions instead of thousands [of pounds],” he added.

Even if England suffer a defeat against Germany, the players still have significant upside potential, according to Liam Hopkins, who heads sports marketing at advertising agency Leo Burnett and has helped brands partner with the Women’s Euros for more than a decade.

“Regardless of Sunday’s result, the Lionesses have an opportunity to reap significant revenue from the competition as they have so heroically captured the hearts and minds of the nation,” said Mr. Hopkins.

“The USA is still the leader in women’s football [but] The market potential in the UK is huge,” said Mr Dhall.

“The Premier League in the UK is already the most watched men’s league in the world and now we are seeing the women’s league growing rapidly in live viewership and broadcast numbers.”

Simon Richardson, Strategy Director at creative agency Amplify said: “We are so used to seeing the stars of men’s football on our screens, selling everything from NFTs to noodles and driving the sport’s cultural crossover.

“There’s no reason why women footballers shouldn’t follow suit, but there is also a clear opportunity for them to do so in a more meaningful and progressive way.”


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