The FIFA Women's World Cup generated $570M in revenue
The GIST: Ahead of yesterday’s FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) final, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the tournament generated $570M in revenue, the second-highest income for any global sport after the men’s World Cup (WC). It’s becoming increasingly obvious that international soccer is for the girls, but brands and investors are still catching up.
The context: FIFA sold the WWC television rights separately from the men’s for the first time, calculating that they were worth more than $300M. Leading up to the WWC, it rejected low and “unacceptable” bids for the rights, then threatened a blackout in some of the biggest European TV markets. In the end, FIFA ended up settling for a European deal and got about $100M less than it evaluated for all broadcast rights combined.
- Furthermore, FIFA didn’t announce a sponsorship sellout until the start of the tournament. And while the sellout is impressive for the WWC’s first independent partnership program, the deals are still far behind those of men’s WCs.
Numbers on the rise: Despite the early lack of broadcast and brand support, this year’s WWC seemed to set attendance and viewership records daily. Among a plethora of impressive match attendance numbers, the 2023 tournament was the most-attended WWC ever.
- When it came to TV, China had the most-watched match of the tourney with 53.9M viewers, Australia registered its largest television program in over 20 years, and the U.S. broke multiple viewership records. We can’t say it enough — put women’s sports on TV.
Zooming out: This year’s tournament has more than proven the value of global women’s soccer, making the lukewarm support from broadcast companies and brands before the WWC seem even more ridiculous. In order to yield even higher ROI, brands need to start investing sooner rather than later.
- Spoiler alert: The Paris Olympics are coming up next summer and oui wouldn’t want anyone to miss out.