Targeting the 13% of Americans Who are Women's Soccer Fans

BY Rachel Cagle
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Soccer’s popularity continues to grow, with 44% of adults worldwide who are either interested or very interested in the sport, according to a report by Nielsen. Of that 44%, 36% are interested in women’s soccer. That’s 16% of the world’s population, or 314 million people (the equivalent of the number of golf fans). In the U.S. specifically, 13% of the population enjoys women’s soccer. Fans aren't just watching soccer on TV. They are also attending games. Recently, in the U.S., attendance at games in the tenth season averaged 10,000 fans, according to the National Women's Soccer League.

Who are the Women's Soccer Fans?

Women’s soccer fans are fairly evenly divided when it comes to gender, with 54% being male and 46% being female (that’s a much higher percentage of women fans than men’s soccer has at 38%). The largest percentage of fans (28%) are between the ages of 25 and 34, with 35- to 44-​year-​olds and fans ages 55+ following up at 20%, ages 45 to 54 making up 18% of fans, and with 16- to 24-​year-​olds bringing up the rear at 15%.

Gilted Soccer reports that at least 23% of U.S. female soccer fans are Hispanic, 47% hold a college degree, and they enjoy an average household income of $80,362.

On a scale of 1 to 7, fans say their interest in the game was spurred by:

  • Watching television games 5.3
  • A friend 4.7
  • A star player as a role model 4.3
  • Playing youth soccer. 4.2

These details hold clues on how to increase the fan base. Advertising on TV will encourage consumers who are interested in soccer to check out a game.

The Value of Women's Soccer Games

The EUFA, the governing organization for European soccer, believes the value women’s soccer rides on:

  • Fan and community engagement
  • Commercial activity
  • Image
  • Games played on the field

Specifically, reporters indicate that one women’s team in the U.S., the New Jersey, Gotham FC, is valued at $40 million. To maintain and increase value, local teams will “build on the unique strengths of the women’s game.” These strategies can also include making stars more visible in the local community and encouraging businesses to sponsor teams.

In 2022, about “77% of leagues had a title sponsor, up from 11% in 2021.” There’s also more revenue from broadcast revenue with ten leagues now generating income from that source.

Where are These Fans Watching? 

Advertisers who run ads during national competitions are bound to grab the attention of fans, especially if the business is a sponsor of the team or game. In fact, according to Nielsen, 42% of women’s soccer fans actively seek out information on the brands that sponsor the sport, and 61% believe that sponsors gain the favorable attention of the audience. 

The conversation also continues on social media platforms. Of all the conversations surrounding women’s soccer teams, 58% are driven by women. On Instagram, 60% of posts are also driven by women. Brands can fuel conversation of their own on their social media pages surrounding the soccer games.

World Cup/​International Soccer Fans are also highly motivated by sponsored search results, online video ads and messages on mobile smartphone apps, according to AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. What products are they looking to purchase this year? You can find out, along with the kind of advertising data you need to present to your clients during your next campaign pitch.

Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.