As one of the UK’s fastest growing sports, in recent years women’s football has captivated not only the nation, but fans all across the globe.
The 2022 UEFA Championship acted as a catalyst for driving both interest and participation. Our very own Lionesses for one made the history books, following a nail biting 2-1 win over Germany during the tournament’s final at Wembley. Meanwhile, this year has seen further excitement engulf the women’s sport, in anticipation of the 9th Women’s World Cup tournament.
Taking place down under in the Commonwealth nations of Australia and New Zealand, the competition is set to see 32 teams participating across eight groups, with over 60 games to be played between now and the final in August.
The 20th of July saw the official kick off of the tournament, and despite the contrasting time difference, globally the tournament is expected to draw an impressive audience of around two billion, marking a significant (and somewhat transformative) increase to audience levels seen pre-COVID. Meanwhile, FIFA has already noted record ticket sales for this year’s competition and the rising popularity of the women’s game has also gained interest beyond the pitch – some good, yet some bad.
This year’s WWC in particular has earned substantiated skepticism concerning the parity of investment between the men’s and women’s games, though things are notably heading in the right direction with FIFA determined to level up the game by 2027 – a feat they say can only be made possible through both equitable broadcasting deals and investment secured from commercial partners.
Assuringly, this year’s Women’s World Cup partnership programme was announced as fully sold, attracting 21 sponsors equating to a near combined value of £240m investment annually – a testament to the growing movement of the women’s sport. And that’s a modest figure which accounts only for this year’s official partners, not forgetting the wealth of brands eagerly tapping into the growing game beyond the badge and broadcast offer.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be looking to showcase a range of the Women’s World Cup campaigns which we have live across our networks throughout the tournament – from official partners and affiliates, to brands looking to be part of an ever growing movement.
Join us while we take a closer look at greatness beyond the pitch.
Greatness, beyond the pitch = The Grand Finale…
Heading into the final week of the Women’s World Cup 2023 tournament, as the Lionesses triumphed in reaching their first ever final, we saw a number of brands seize the opportunity to align with a piece of history…
Official FA partners Lucozade and Marks & Spencer were among the brands who sought to deliver bespoke #WWC Final campaigns over the weekend, not wanting to miss the opportunity to be part of one of the nation’s most memorable, and significant cultural moments.
Both brands activated across OPEN Media’s BOXPARK Wembley site, where fans descended in their thousands to observe the game on Sunday. And though it wasn’t the result we had hoped for, both brands took the final result as an opportunity to react in a positive spirit, showing their unwavering support and solidarity for the Lionesses.
First up, Marks & Spencer revealed a timely piece of copy as an ode to their renowned tagline for M&S food, ‘This isn’t just food. This is M&S Food’, to celebrate the influence that the Lionesses have had both on and off the pitch. The copy read (see above): ‘England couldn’t be prouder… This is not just a football team’.
Meanwhile, Lucozade Sport were another brand keen to reach and engage with fans around BOXPARK Wembley, revealing a timely campaign which stated: ‘Pride Lives On’.
In fact, data collected via AdMobilize saw over half a million impressions delivered across the weekend, alongside a noted uptick in other metrics such as attention, affirming the effectiveness of running contextually-relevant campaigns.
And that rounds off our Greatness, Beyond the Pitch series…
It’s been an amazing four weeks, on and off the pitch.
Until next time (EURO 2025)…
Greatness, beyond the pitch = Week 3
Week three into the tournament and this week, we’re shining a spotlight on the latest World Cup campaign from adidas. This year, the brand has made a conscious effort (as part of its global marketing strategy) to support the next generation of sporting talent. Translating this fittingly for the UK market, the DOOH campaign features some of adidas’ most popular football boot styles, including the infamous Predator boot, which are by next gen Lionesses including Rachel Daly, Mary Earps and Katie Zelem. The creatives themselves celebrate the individual footwear choices and styles of each player, with copy intended to social proof to persuade purchase.
Greatness, beyond the pitch = Week 2
Week two into the #WWC, we saw a number of new brands leverage messaging around the beautiful game, and this week, we are replaying two campaigns which had positive social impact at their very heart.
Mobile network provider EE and deodorant brand Sure were among two of the brands to have launched new campaigns across our large format digital OPEN Connect network.
EE launched a continuation of their 2022 Women’s UEFA Championship campaign focused on Hope United, a football team which brings together players from the home nations to tackle online hate.
Recently live on our BOXPARK Wembley site, the 2023 creative features England Women’s right-back Lucy Bronze, with an empowering and motivational message to girls to ‘Play On’ in response to a stark statistic regarding their participation in sport (it was found that over 50% of girls stop playing sport as teenagers, namely as a result of online hate speech). The powerful campaign is live across our network until early August.
As one of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 official sponsors, Unilever-owned deodorant brand Sure recently doubled down on their marketing efforts surrounding the tournament, with an integrated campaign spanning TV, social, digital and OOH. Copy for the digital out of home element of the campaign specifically focused on the brand’s ‘non-stop protection’ and featured England women’s forward Lauren James.
As a means to create a positive brand association, the campaign utilised reactive copy which was activated in realtime in response to the Lionesses winning their games. Moreover, to ensure heightened contextual relevance, the campaign ran exclusively across two of our most iconic sporting locations, Hotel Football and BOXPARK Wembley, allowing the campaign to reach the right audience, in the right environment during the most relevant moments.
“As part of their Nonstop Protection campaign, Sure have partnered with Lauren James….To show support for Lauren and the Lionesses, we were tasked to feature the sites on impactful large format DOOH in relevant locations.
Hotel Football and Boxpark Wembley felt like the perfect sites to celebrate the team’s wins to football fan audiences.”
Greatness, beyond the pitch = Week 1
During week one of the tournament, OPEN proudly featured a number of inspiring WWC campaigns across our networks, including campaigns from official FA partner M&S and P&G-owned razor brand Venus. Lets take a closer look…
Continuing with their #MoveYourSkin campaign from last year, razor brand Venus have partnered with England Lioness, Lotte Wubben-Moy to offer portrayals of ‘real’ skin in their latest creative in order to celebrate natural imperfections through the highly visible and broadcast medium of OOH. The campaign was recently featured across a number of our iconic LFD sites, including Hotel Football and Sheffield’s The Moor, bringing an important message to relevant audiences nationwide.
As the Official Tailor of the England Senior Women’s Team, ahead of the tournament’s kick off OPEN Media featured Marks and Spencer’s latest campaign for the Women’s World Cup, which looked to recognise the retailer’s longstanding relationship with The Football Association (predating to 2007) alongside the retailer’s debut FA Collection for the England Senior Women’s Team. The campaign went live across our Trafford OPEN Connect sites, in close proximity to the iconic retail destination, The Trafford Centre.
Stay tuned for further #WWC campaign related updates over the coming weeks.