Five Campaigns that Made 2016 a Year to Remember for Women’s Sport

For many, 2016 has been a year to forget. But amongst the obvious chaos, we are delighted to head into Christmas with some altogether more positive news. Figures released by Sport England in the last week have shown the number of women playing sport in England has reached an all-time high of 7.21 million. A plethora of sports including football, netball and hockey have all grown, whilst the difference between the number of men and women playing sport has narrowed to just 1.55 million. Notably, Sport England found the number of participants has increased by 250,000 since they launched their This Girl Can campaign in 2014. That’s a remarkable impact by anyone’s standards.So how have women’s sports campaigns fared since the incredible success of This Girl Can? Fortunately, they’ve been pretty good. In fact, this year alone has provided us with a number of campaigns worth sharing.

So let’s raise our glasses to the best women’s sport campaigns 2016 had to offer from around the world. If these five brilliant campaigns don’t get you inspired, then we don’t know what will.

1. Rethink Role Models – Samsung

As the official sponsor of Australia’s National Netball team, Samsung challenged Australians to rethink who they hold up as role models by shining a light on some of the sport’s most inspirational figures. Launched with this moving film featuring netballer Caitlin Bassett, the Rethink Role Models campaign went on to tell individual stories of five Netball players to inspire young girls around the country to get involved in the sport.

2. The Red Roses – RFUThe RFU announced the #RedRoses initiative with this inspirational film, showing the life of a female rugby player from birth to playing at Twickenham Stadium. Describing the campaign, RFU Chief Executive Ian Richie said: "We wanted to create an identity for England Women that would inspire more people to get involved whether playing or supporting the women’s game."
3. #RuleYourself – Under Armour

In February, Under Armour released the latest chapter of their #RuleYourself marketing campaign that originally launched in the summer of 2015. Featuring members of the USA Women’s Gymnastics team, this impressive film highlights the incredible strength and dedication of female athletes in the sport. The message? Hard work pays off, or as Under Armour like to put it, “It’s What You Do in the Dark That Puts You in the Light”.

4. Da Da Ding – NikeNike’s incredibly catchy ‘Da Da Ding’ film is the latest chapter of #justdoit. The campaign celebrates women’s sport across India, encouraging female participation in the country. Importantly, this isn’t about one particular sport, it has everything from throwing punches to shooting hoops, representing women in a fiercely competitive way not seen before in the country.
5. #PerfectNever – Reebok

Having faced trolling online for her muscular body shape and athleticism, Ronda Rousey stares her critics down in this film for Reebok. Using #PerfectNever, the film challenges the idea of perfection as Ronda Rousey tears off her makeup in favour of her training gear. She doesn’t claim to be perfect, nor does she have a desire to be. Because, as Reebok put it, “Being perfect isn’t as powerful as being human”.

No surprises, except maybe one: a look at LA 2024 sponsorship

The Los Angeles 2024 Olympic Bid published its Games budget overview last week, which included a first look at its estimated revenue from domestic sponsorship.

The headline of the release that accompanied LA’s budget talked about “No Surprises”. And I wasn’t surprised that the estimate of $1.93 billion was, by LA’s admission, conservative. That’s what Olympic bids always do when it comes to sponsorship forecasts. But I was surprised at just how conservative it was – in my view overly conservative.To put this into context.The US is the world's largest advertising and sports marketing economy, and in turn its media and brands are by far the biggest investors in Olympic media and sponsorships.

So I was expecting to see LA estimate the biggest-ever domestic sponsorship Games revenue.

But that's not how it played out.

Yes, the LA estimate would be a record for any completed Games to date. But even allowing for price elasticity of demand, having already signed 15 Tier One and 27 Tier Two partners, Tokyo 2020 appears to have already generated well over $2 billion from domestic sponsorship given its rate card of $128 million and $51 million respectively for Tier One and Tier Two deals.

So that's the new benchmark, from an ad market that's 25% the size of that of the US.

Another benchmark. The LA estimate is less than double London 2012’s final total of just over $1 billion, which was generated by a much, much smaller ad market - 12% of the size of the US - in the teeth of a recession.

When Tokyo won the right to stage the 2020 Games, I predicted that it could reach $2 billion of domestic sponsorship revenue. If LA wins the race for 2024, I believe that over $2 billion is a certainty and $3 billion highly likely.

I suspect that the two other models LA used would have reflected a similar scenario.

But LA didn’t need to run the risk of over-promising and under-delivering. A conservative $1.93 billion works for LA’s no risk budget, and even at the lower end of the scale, still comfortably eclipses the $1.086 billion from domestic sponsorship estimated by Paris, its chief rival in the 2024 race.

No surprise. No surprises.