How visibility of women’s sport in the media can fuel change
Last week the achievements of women were celebrated during International Women’s Day, in the UK this was also marked by the government promising more than £600m to improve physical education in schools and provide equal access to sports . Sport is such a great vehicle for equity, but how do we build on the successes already gained?
Respect, determination, and teamwork are key values in sport – which is why it is such a powerful platform for empowering women and girls.
The Lionesses’ historic victory at the 2022 UEFA Women’s EURO’s pushed women’s sport to the forefront of the news agenda, inspiring new audiences not only to watch and take an interest in women’s football but other women’s sport too. Over a quarter (27%) of the 15.8 million new viewers of women’s sport in 2022 have gone on to watch more female sporting content .
Additionally, in the UK 13% of sports coverage on key TV channels in 2022 was for women’s sport (BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV, Sky Sports Main Event, and Channel 4) - a 4% increase from 2021. However, despite this progress, women are still significantly under-represented in sports media coverage and only account for less than 10% of TV sports news and print coverage .
"If you can’t see it, you can’t be it"
For change to happen, awareness and exposure of these events need to be focussed on. Media outlets play a vital role in how people form opinions and attitudes about women and sports – they have tremendous reach and the power to reinforce positive attitudes, through the amount of coverage and the language used.
Simply put, people would watch more women’s sport if there was greater access to them. This is supported by a YouGov study cohort, who told researchers that they would watch more women’s sport if there were more of it on TV .
But why are coverage and visibility so important for change?
As the saying goes, ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t be it’. Frequent visibility of women’s sports has the power to indirectly change perceptions, providing a platform to promote positive role models who can inspire the next generation of sports stars.
The upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup is a great opportunity for your brand to keep up the momentum created by the UEFA Women’s EUROs. A recent YouGov study found that 42% of respondents believe that a major event like the FIFA World Cup or an Olympic Games provides them with the perfect opportunity to follow a female athlete, team, sport, or event  – this interest should be utilised.
This is where Story10 comes in
By working together with our partners involved in women’s sport, we create authentic news stories, that work alongside event action – putting female athletes and their achievements in the limelight they deserve.
Want to know more about how we can help you push for change? Find out more at Story10.com.
 GOV.UK (2023) School sports given huge boost to level the playing field for next generation of Lionesses, GOV.UK. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/school-sports-given-huge-boost-to-level-the-playing-field-for-next-generation-of-lionesses (Accessed: March 16, 2023).
 Rogers, C. (2022) Lionesses' euros triumph sparks surging audiences, Marketing Week. Available at: https://www.marketingweek.com/lionesses-triumph-womens-sport-boost/ (Accessed: March 14, 2023).
 Womens Sport Trust (2023) Record-breaking figures for Women's sport viewership in 2022, Womens Sport Trust. Available at: https://www.womenssporttrust.com/record-breaking-figures-for-womens-sport-viewership-in-2022/ (Accessed: March 16, 2023).
 YouGov (2021) “WOMEN IN SPORT REPORT 2021: The growth in women’s sport - and what it means for marketers.” YouGov.