vertical lineHow Your Brand Can Make the Most of the World Cup

Jul 31, 2023 | From the Experts

By: Kathy Anastasiadis, Senior Coordinator

Athena's Year with City Year

I’ve loved soccer for as long as I can remember—I started playing in pre-school and still spend Thursday nights on the pitch in a recreational league. Growing up, I idolized Mia Hamm and dreamt of scoring a game-winning World Cup goal.

While professional soccer was never in my future, my fervor for sports, especially for women’s sports, has only grown. And I’m not the only one. According to the Associated Press, women’s sports saw significant increases in viewership, ratings, sponsorship deals and prime-time coverage in 2022. And brands are noticing—during the same period, professional women’s sports sponsorships grew 20% year over year. With the FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place through August 20, brands are taking advantage of this new popularity and supporting women’s sports in a way that’s never been seen before. The U.S. Women’s National Team’s 23-person roster of veteran stars and 14 first-time players—many of whom are quickly making a name for themselves on the field—has only added to the excitement.

Want to get your brand involved? With an impressive background creating engaging experiences and managing campaigns in the professional sport realm, here are some ideas Athena’s Strategic Marketing & Events team suggest for maximizing your World Cup support.

1. Sponsor a viewing/re-watch party.

While this year’s Women’s World Cup is taking place in Australia and New Zealand, the United States are the defending champions and the most decorated team in Women’s World Cup history. With interest in the sport growing, it’s safe to say that soccer fans are rushing to make plans to watch each game. We recommend partnering with your local sports bar and inviting your target audience. Worried about the time difference? Simply make sure you record the game and schedule a re-watch party.

2. Promote gender equity externally and internally through your communications.

Because of their dominance on the world stage, players on the U.S. Women’s national team have been long time advocates for equal pay in women’s sports. Their efforts led to the U.S. Soccer Federation announcing in 2022 that players for the men’s and women’s national teams would receive equal compensation. In support of the inspiring women playing in this year’s tournament and women across the globe still fighting for equal pay, this summer is a great time to take a stand for your belief in gender equity and develop a communications plan centered around this ideology.

3. Donate to organizations like the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Backing your communications plan with a philanthropic donation will give credibility to the gender equity messaging your organization is promoting. As the saying goes, “put your money where your mouth is.”  We recommend supporting organizations such as the Women’s Sports Foundation, established in 1974 to advance the lives of women and girls through sports and enable all women to reach their fullest potential.

 Overall, this year’s World Cup gives you the opportunity to engage your audience while also showing your brand’s support for women across the globe. Here at Athena, we’re proudly women-owned, and inspiring the next generation of female leaders (whether on the field or in the office) is something we are passionate about. I hope you join us in cheering on Team USA this summer!

Learn more about our experience with professional soccer and how Athena helped the city of Philadelphia win a bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup here.

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