We are pleased to announce the release of the new ECA report, "Future of Fandom: Growing the Women's Game. In collaboration with independent research and strategy consultancy MTM Sport, this report serves as a comprehensive analysis of the current landscape and prospects of women's football globally.
The study underscores the success and potential of women's football, emphasizing the need to understand and address the unique aspects of its fan base. It focuses on driving engagement and seizing commercial opportunities for sustained growth in the game.
Global Interest and Engagement
The rise of women's football is evident from the record-breaking attendance figures at matches, increased online searches and buzzing social media trends. Appealing to a diverse audience of different genders, ages and nationalities, women's football has attracted worldwide attention, marking a significant step forward in its global engagement.
Drivers of Interest
At the heart of this growing enthusiasm is a powerful catalyst: gender equality. This is the key driver of interest in women's football, complemented by the quality of the game, and the presence of inspirational role models. This rising popularity is directly linked to a tangible increase in attendance at women's football matches, underlining the impact of these influential factors.
Recognized as an under-exploited, large-scale market, women's football is attracting growing commercial interest and sponsorship. This is indicative of an evolving landscape that offers unique business prospects and opportunities, with emerging markets such as Belgium, Mexico, Sweden and Scotland all contributing to the growth of women's football.
Opportunities for Clubs
Leverages for better engaging this under-exploited market include increasing attendance, amplifying engagement levels, understanding underlying barriers and developing emotional bonds with fans. It's a roadmap for clubs looking to broaden their horizons in women's football.
In the midst of this exponential growth, challenges persist, including disparities between average and peak attendance, emotional barriers, knowledge gaps and the imperative need to transform interest into sustained, unwavering growth. Solutions advocated involve educating fans, fostering emotional connections and removing practical barriers to pave the way for sustained and increased engagement.
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, ECA Chairman, remarked,"It is a great pleasure to introduce the latest report in the ECA Future of Fandom series, 'Growing the Women’s Game'.
“At ECA, our mission is to develop women’s and men’s European club football, working in partnership with all stakeholders, in the interests of all. We are especially proud that ECA is a leading centre of excellence for research and insights into women’s football. Central to the recent success of the women’s game has been the positive and collaborative engagement with fans; and this will remain a foundation for growth of the women’s game in the future – as our report explains. We hope you find this report insightful, and we thank all contributors for their valuable input.”
ECA is the sole, independent club body officially recognised by UEFA and FIFA representing football clubs at European and international level.
With a membership base of more than 400 professional football clubs we bring clubs together to find consensus, and ensure their voices are heard in all international decision-making.
We are driven by our mission to safeguard and promote clubs’ interests in the decision-making process of governing bodies, competition organisers and other professional stakeholders.
We are leading the way to build a successful, democratic and inclusive football for all placing the clubs at the Heart of Football.
MTM is the trusted insight and strategy partner tackling the biggest challenges for the world's biggest brands, including Google, Meta, Amazon Prime Video, the Premier League, Formula 1, Spotify, Sky, the BBC and Disney.
We live and breathe media, entertainment, tech, and sport and have been powering the decision making of the world's biggest brands for nearly two decades, by answering their toughest questions, getting to the moments of truth.
Because we focus on getting to the truth of the matter from different perspectives, we see what others miss, taking clients directly from insight to informed decisions to action. Our services include commercial strategy consultancy, trends and cultural insights, qualitative and quantitative market research, data science and UXR. Our size and agility mean we can take on significant client challenges across global geographies.
London-based MTM is a twice winner of the Market Research Society’s (MRS) Agency of the Year and has been shortlisted again for 2023, as well as celebrating award wins for 2023 Effectiveness of Research (MediaTel), 2022 Best New Consumer Insight (MRS), 2021 B2B Research (MRS). For more information, visit wearemtm.com.
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