In Sport Sponsorship, Sports Marketing

Many products are considered to be a prerogative of the female public. Therefore, we often hear: “We do not sponsor sports, because the purchasing manager is a woman”. There can be little doubt that most of the times the passion for sports is mainly associated with men.

Numbers are increasing

Truth be told, however, the number of women participating in sports events or watching sports on TV or using other devices is actually increasing. Companies often underestimate this aspect and lose excellent opportunities to get in touch and engage with a large part of the target.

According to Repucom, in the 24 largest countries in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, an average of 46 women out of 100 reports being interested or very interested in sports, compared to 69% of men; the gap is not huge.

Another significant aspect is related to the sports that women follow. Disciplines like volleyball are often associated with the female public when nothing is further from the truth. According to the same research, tennis, football, and athletics are the most popular sports among women in the United Kingdom, while the German ladies prefer soccer, athletics, and motorsport*.

Sponsorship and Women: a common misunderstanding, RTR Sports

Habits are changing

In addition to that, another social factor must be taken into consideration. More and more families are moving far from the traditional female purchasing manager. And while hygiene brands and housecare products are now largely bought also by men, women have rejected the classic feminine icon of house-keeper often portrayed by ads and commercials.

According to the Statistical Yearbook of Istat (the Italian Institute for Statistics) 2017, 31.6% of households consist of one person, 58.9% of these are men. Now imagine how this data impacts on the figure of the classic purchasing manager who fills the refrigerator. This trend is not geographically confined: rather, it is observable worldwide. In some countries, the number of women interested in sports is now equal to that of men, as Nielsen’s research on Australia reveals.

If you are thinking about sponsorship and you have feminine products we can assist, contact us at

*Source: Fan DNA Survey, August 2014, total for eight countries (USA, UK, Germany, Mexico, Malaysia, China, Japan, Australia), respondents aged 16-65 at least a little interested in sport (80-95% of total age group population) n=24,024

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Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo was born in Giulianova, graduated in law at the University of Bologna and decided to do something else. After a stint at ISFORP (public relations training institute) in Milan, he moved to England. He began his career in London in PR, first at MSP Communication and then at Counsel Limited. Then, following his unhealthy passion for sport, he moved to Jean Paul Libert's SDC and started working in two and four-wheelers, this was in 1991/1992. A brief move to Monaco followed, where he worked alongside the owner of Pro COM, a sports marketing agency founded by Nelson Piquet. He returned to Italy and started working in the first person as RTR, first a consulting firm and then a sports marketing company. 
Back in 2001 RTR won the ESCA award for the best sports MKTG project in Italy in the year 2000. Among other things, RTR obtained the highest score among all categories and represented Italy in the ESCA European Contest. From that moment on, RTR will no longer participate in other national or international awards. Over the years he takes some satisfaction and swallows a lot of toads. But he is still here, writing in a disenchanted and simple manner, with the aim of giving practical (unsolicited) advice and food for thought.
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