The Expansion of NWSL: A Winning Opportunity for Sponsors
- July 20, 2023
- SponsorPulse Staff
With its latest expansion announcement, the NWSL has been steadily gaining momentum, positioning itself as a compelling league at the levels of the more established Major League Soccer (MLS), and becoming an increasingly attractive investment for sponsors.
Prominent brands always seek emerging opportunities that can provide exceptional value to forge meaningful connections with their target audience. As a growing sports property, how does the NWSL compare to the MLS, and what sponsorship prospects does it present?
NWSL vs. MLS
From a brand investment outlook, the NWSL presents an intriguing proposition — the NWSL and the MLS are nearly identical in consumer impact.
Data from SponsorPulse show that the MLS and the NWSL offer equivalent impact value within their audiences' Favorability and Passion factors (both tied at 9%).
Nevertheless, even in the categories with the largest differences between the two properties — Engagement, Intensity, and Excitement — the MLS outpaces the NWSL by a marginal 3% in each category.
However, while the opportunity numbers show minimal differences, on average, sponsoring the MLS requires a significantly larger investment than the NWSL — making the NWSL a more cost-effective option for brands aiming to achieve similar levels of impact within their respective audiences.
Opportunities for New NWSL Sponsors
With the increasing popularity of women's soccer, the NWSL presents a unique appeal to diverse demographics and from various industries and market segments.
To fully grasp the potential and variety of sponsoring the NWSL, it's essential to consider the brand users with the greatest growing interest in the league:
Top Brand Opportunities in NWSL in the US
Within the local market, the NWSL attracts significant interest from various industries.
Users from brands like Yokohama, Alibaba, BMO, and BMW have the highest Engagement scores within the NWSL audience, per SponsorPulse.
Other brands with tremendous potential to make an impact in the NWSL include Expedia - whose brand users have the strongest Excitement (37%), Heineken - whose brand buyers are most likely to increase their Purchase Consideration (23%), and Rakuten - whose brand users are most likely to increase Favorability (26%).
Top Brand Opportunities in NWSL in Canada
Canada could become a relevant focus point for the league’s growth in coming years, especially after Canadian TV broadcaster TSN secured broadcasting rights to the 2023 NWSL season earlier this year.
If the NWSL would expand with another team in Canada — similar to the NBA or NHL — it would create a range of sponsorship opportunities that brands in the country would undoubtedly be eager to explore.
Today, brands like TD Bank, Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Bell, and Google score the highest rates in Momentum (i.e., an indicator of growth and potential for sponsors) with 1 in 5 brand users showing a growing interest in the league, according to SponsorPulse.
From a different perspective, Scotiabank, Air Canada, and Mastercard lead the Consideration category, which measures the number of people considering purchasing from a brand if it sponsors the NWSL.
By aligning their brand with the NWSL, sponsors can tap into the energy and enthusiasm of these fans, forging long-lasting connections and brand loyalty.
A Winning Opportunity
The NWSL's expansion and accelerated growth present an exciting opportunity for sponsors to invest in a rising star within the sports sponsorship landscape.
League expansions bring new teams and markets into the fold and open doors for sponsors to explore untapped opportunities within a wider audience from various industries.
Compared to the MLS, considering the diversity of interests of brand users, it becomes clear that the NWSL is a compelling option for brands seeking to make a meaningful impact while maximizing their return on investment.
Finding The Best Sponsorship Opportunities
As the FIFA Women's World Cup develops, sponsors can leverage the growing interest in women's soccer and align their brand with the NWSL to reach a passionate and engaged fan base. Create a free SponsorPulse account to find the best sponsorship opportunities for your brand!