Marketing Report
GroupM commits to double media investment in annual women’s sports advertising opportunities news

GroupM commits to double media investment in annual women’s sports advertising opportunities

GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has announced its commitment to double media investment for annual women’s sports with the creation of a dedicated marketplace.

GroupM will seek first look and first-to-market opportunities beginning with the 2024-2025 Upfront alongside advertisers including adidas, Ally, Coinbase, Discover, Google, Mars, Nationwide, Unilever, Universal Pictures, among others. 

Women’s sports are projected to generate more than $1 billion in revenue in 2024, according to Deloitte, as recent peaks in viewership and engagement across sports channels indicate fans’ appetites for women’s sports are at an all-time high. GroupM will collaborate with its media partners to identify and allocate media investments to drive the discovery, promotion and monetization of women’s sports. 

Matt Sweeney, Chief Investment Officer, GroupM US: “Our industry has seen the incredible impact of investing in women’s sports over the last several years, but even with continued momentum, women’s sports investments only comprise a mere fraction of total media spend in sports. Starting with this year’s Upfront negotiations, our team will procure elevated opportunities that are a win-win for our advertisers. GroupM advertisers have challenged the marketplace to flip the script on how to invest in women’s sports, and they will continue to play a pivotal role moving forward.”

In 2023, Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and PR Officer at Ally pioneered conversations with GroupM, imploring the agency to establish an advertising marketplace for women’s sports. Kicking off with this year’s Upfront, GroupM will pursue newfound women’s sports advertising opportunities including broadcast sponsorships and bespoke packages to grassroots investments with leagues and athlete-owned entertainment companies.

Andrea Brimmer, Chief Marketing and PR Officer, Ally: “Creating a dedicated marketplace for women’s sports beginning at this year’s Upfront marks a significant step forward in driving real impact in the business of women’s sports. At Ally, we dreamed about reimagining the investment approach so we could drive systemic change in the way women’s sports media is bought and sold. And, today, through the leadership of GroupM and their many clients across industries, this dream is becoming a reality.”

Denise Ocasio, Executive Director of Investment, GroupM US: “With heightened demand for women’s sports, and a responsibility to enhance the women’s sports marketplace, our team is committed to delivering our advertisers with bespoke and bountiful opportunities that will drive brand impact, increase ad effectiveness and optimize business outcomes. Fast-growing audiences are watching at a high clip, and subsequently, women’s sports programming is in the ranks with some of the highest rated broadcasts overall. Advertising alongside women’s sports works.” 

According to recent research by the TV outcomes company EDO, advertising in women’s sports drives positive brand impact and increased ad effectiveness. When measuring the impact of ads on viewer behavior, adidas ads featuring female athletes were 69% more effective than the brand’s average ad on broadcast and cable in 2023.  

Martin Blich, Executive Director, Sports and Live Investment, GroupM US: “Beyond prioritizing investing in women’s sports as a whole, we need to challenge the way advertising and sponsorship packages are bought and sold. For many years, there has been disparity between men’s and women’s sports advertising, but today there are increased opportunities across women’s sports. We hope our commitment will help brands execute a more holistic investment strategy centered around audience, while increasing overall sports advertising.”

Advertisers across GroupM’s agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker and EssenceMediacom will be welcome to participate in this year’s dedicated women’s sports marketplace. 

Brands interested in obtaining first-look advertising opportunities can connect directly with their GroupM investment leads.