For the first time in history, women’s sports is forecast to exceed US$1.28 billion in global revenues next year, according to financial analysts at Deloitte.
The figure surpasses Deloitte’s previous valuation three years ago by at least 300 per cent.
Women’s football alone is expected to top US$555 million, largely owing to the success of this year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which generated more than US$570 million in revenue.
Women’s football and basketball are predicted to be the most lucrative sports for women next year, bringing in 71 per cent of the total global revenue.
While women’s football continues to draw crowds in Europe, women’s sports in North America remains the most valuable geographical market, generating more than 50 per cent of total global revenue.
Deloitte predicts the region will yield US$670 million next year, with some sports teams expected to bring in at least US$100 million in 2024.
Jennifer Haskel, insights lead for Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said that women’s sport is progressively being viewed as a “unique product” separate to men’s elite sport.
“Over the last few years we have seen exceptional growth in women’s sport across the globe, driving a significant uplift in its commercial value, which in turn has led to growing interest from investors,” Haskel said.
“This surge in fan and investor engagement is leading to new and improved opportunities for clubs and leagues, including greater commercial partnerships, increased participation and bigger match days.”
The global head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte believes the next step for women’s sport is to “maintain habitual viewers who loyally tune in to watch their favourite players, teams and competitions across the season.”
“Broadcasters, streamers and social media platforms will have an important role to play in showcasing major events that capture the interest of new and existing fans, while creating an experience that is memorable and impactful,” Paul Lee said.
Commercial income from deals by leagues and teams is expected to bring in more than half of total revenue next year, while broadcast is set to account for 27 per cent.
“In 2024 women’s elite sports will continue to be allocated additional prime time broadcast slots, making the women’s events easier to find and watch,” the report from Deloitte explained.