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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

Breaking The Million Dollar Barrier In Women's Elite Sports


Deloitte predicts that women’s elite sports will generate global revenues of US$1.28 billion in 2024 (£1.02 billion). This is the first time that annual global revenues for women’s sport will have surpassed US$1 billion. This total is at least 300 per cent higher than Deloitte’s previous valuation three years ago.


Deloitte’s forecast is based on the three main categories of revenue for women’s sports; matchday, broadcast and commercial. Commercial revenue, which includes club sponsorships, partnerships, and merchandising sales, currently represents the largest share of total revenue (US$696 million, 55 per cent). This is followed by broadcast (US$340 million, 27 per cent), and matchday (US$240 million, 18 per cent) revenues.


The two most valuable women’s sports are projected to be football (US$555 million, 43 per cent) and basketball (US$354 million, 28 per cent), while the largest geographical markets in 2024 are forecast to be North America (US$670 million, 52 per cent) and Europe (US$181 million, 14 per cent).


Jennifer Haskel, insights lead for Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “Over the last few years we have seen exceptional growth in women’s sport across the globe, driving a significant uplift in its commercial value, which in turn has led to growing interest from investors. Crucially, women’s sport is increasingly being viewed as a unique product that is becoming ever more distinct from men’s elite sport."


“This surge in fan and investor engagement is leading to new and improved opportunities for clubs and leagues, including greater commercial partnerships, increased participation and bigger matchdays. In order to ensure this growth remains consistent and sustainable, sports organisations must ensure that investment is directed to the right places such as encouraging fan loyalty, player welfare and maintaining competition across leagues.”


Deloitte expects valuations for teams and leagues to continue to rise, with several teams’ values predicted to exceed US$100 million in 2024.


Meanwhile, major events and global competitions such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Women’s Tennis Association tour are expected to contribute US$425 million – 33 per cent of the forecasted total.


In turn, Deloitte expects that in 2024 women’s elite sports will continue to be allocated additional prime time broadcast slots, making the women’s events easier to find and watch.


Paul Lee, global head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte, added: “Women’s sport is on an impressive growth trajectory. However, broadcasters, streamers and social media platforms will have an important role to play in showcasing major events that capture the interest of new and existing fans, while creating an experience that is memorable and impactful."


“The next step will be maintaining habitual viewers who loyally tune in to watch their favourite players, teams and competitions across the season. To do this, sports organisations and media businesses will need to continue to elevate the profile of women’s sport with prime-time broadcasts, as well as investing in digital platforms that make games accessible to all those who want to watch.”

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