Ministry of Sport

UK Women’s Soccer Sees 60% Rise In Popularity Since 2017

UK Women’s soccer has seen a nearly 60% rise in the number of supporters over the last three years, according to a new study by analytics firm Nielsen Sport.

The study involved 29,252 UK adults in surveys between 2017 and 2019 and showed a rise in respondents categorising themselves as fans, with a 12 per cent increase in 2017, a 15 per cent increase in 2018 and a 19 per cent increase this year.

The report also indicated 40 per cent of followers stated they inform themselves about women’s soccer through conversations with friends and family in 2019, a 10 per cent increase from 2018 results.

Nielsen Sport’s global lead on women’s sport and UK head of brands, Lynsey Douglas, said the demographic factors of women’s soccer fans are valuable data for brands and marketers.

“Our analysis shows that support for women’s football in the UK is continuing to grow and quickly,” Douglas said.

“Significantly for brands, our data shines a light on the consumer habits of women’s football fans, who are more likely than followers of the men’s game to have families and to be key decision-makers when it comes to making purchases for the family.

“It’s this kind of insight which we can expect brands to use as they aim to capitalise on the growing commercial opportunities presented by a highly engaged and steadily rising fan-base of women’s football followers,” she said.

The report also identified that women’s soccer fans are engaging digitally, with 62 per cent of followers using the internet to follow women’s soccer this year.

In terms of broadcast engagement, TV broadcasts remain the dominant platform, with 62 per cent of those surveyed stating that is their primary method of engaging with women’s soccer, with radio broadcasts sitting at 33 per cent for the year.

The findings of the report go further to prove the success and rise in popularity of women’s sport around the world, after the Lionesses recently played in front of a record crowd of 77,768 at Wembley Stadium against women’s soccer powerhouses, Germany.

Joshua Hodson

Joshua Hodson