The DataPOWA view on the most important talking points in the worlds of sport sponsorship and digital.

NAT WEST WINNING WITH ENGLAND

It wasn’t just the England fans celebrated after their team beat New Zealand to win the men’s World Cup for the first time. NatWest picked the right time to be the main sponsor of England cricket after both the men’s and women’s teams won the World Cup, with sport sponsorship playing a key role in turning around perceptions of the brand.

NatWest has had an association with English cricket for 38 years, making it one of the longest partnerships in sport. Then, in 2017, it came on board as the principle sponsor, launching the #NoBoundaries campaign at the same time. That campaign aims to promote a message of diversity and inclusion, prescient given the make-up of the England team that won the World Cup.

For more on this story, please visit Marketing Week

For more on England’s Cricket Triumph:

ECB set to hit the jackpot after England’s march to World Cup, please visit The Telegraph

Audience of 8.3m watches England win Cricket World Cup final, please visit Prolific Media

SPONSORS MUST ADVOCATE IN WOMEN’S SPORT

The recent success of the football Women’s World Cup underlined how far women’s sport has come in recent years and led to an increase of brands getting involved.

However, Marketing Week’s Charlotte Rogers wonders if sponsors are doing enough to advocate for female athletes, rather than simply using them as marketing tools.

“Decades of under-investment in women’s sport has only widened the gender gap, so what are these brands actually doing to advocate for female athletes?” Rogers writes.

“First and foremost, support should be unconditional. Women’s World Cup kit sponsor Nike found this out the hard way when it was exposed by female athletes for reducing sponsorship payments during their pregnancies because they failed to hit “performance-based targets”. Nike has since said it will waive targets for pregnant athletes over a 12-month period.

“Brands must also find their niche and understand where they can add the most value… For instance, fuelling participation could be a good fit for a brand with customers across the country that can get involved with local activations, whereas others could use their expertise to help a club rev up its match day experiential marketing.

“Alternatively, a brand might be able to use its insight to build a more detailed picture of the audience or help improve the visibility of the athletes by amplifying their stories.

“Ultimately, investment is needed to ensure women can play sport at a professional level and translate the excitement around big tournaments into domestic fans week in, week out. “

For more on this story, please visit Marketing Week

HOW WOMEN’S FOOTBALL CAN TAKE ITS NEXT GIANT LEAP

On the pitch, women’s football is at a crossroads at the moment as it looks to capitalise on the success of the World Cup and retain the new fans who have been brought to the sport.

Positive first steps have been taken recently, with Manchester City and Chelsea taking their opening Super League matches to the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge, and the BBC’s Dan Roan has outlined other ways the growth can continue.

“[There are several key challenges facing the game,] not least trying to make the WSL profitable,” Roan writes.

“There is also the negotiation of a new TV deal, ideally one with free-to-air exposure, and which actually makes some money. Currently, TV rights are effectively given away for free to BT and the BBC, who are simply required to cover the costs of production.

“Building on the momentum of France 2019 by selling more tickets for matches at bigger, better grounds will be another key challenge, with WSL attendances continuing to stubbornly hover around just a thousand on average.

“There are already signs of innovation – some matches next season will be “double-headers” with men’s games, and some will be staged at grounds that usually host men’s teams. The arrival of Manchester United and Spurs into the WSL is another boost.

“Clubs will be encouraged to seriously step up investment into their women’s teams, along with improving their marketing and promotion.

“Thought will also be given to some of the issues the Premier League has faced; for example, how to guard against an influx of overseas signings limiting the opportunities of young homegrown talent, and growing the club sides while preserving the status of the national team.”

For more on this story please visit BBC Sport

NIKE TAKES ESPORTS INVOLVEMENT TO NEXT LEVEL

Nike has taken another significant step into esports by partnering with Brazilian organisation FURIA.

The sports giant has been making waves in the ascendent sport over the last year, but this marks the first time it has directly partnered with an organisation.

The deal began early in July with FURIA unveiling its new Nike-supplied uniform at the ESL One Cologne tournament, and will last over the next few years.

FURIA’s CEO Jaime Pádua F. Filho, said: “This contract with Nike is something pioneering in esports’ world and adds credibility and sustainability to our project.

“With Nike’s support, we’ll go on with our job of making dreams come true and forming great athletes by hard work, talent and persistence. We’ve succeeded in CS:GO with this formula and we hope to reapply it to other modalities.”

For more on this story, please visit Hype Beast

GOOD SHOUT

THE BLAST: Shaun White Sues Oakley for Allegedly Using Him to Promote Sunglasses After Their Deal Expired

LIVERPOOL FC: Liverpool FC scores new partnership with EA Sports

SPORTS PRO MEDIA: MLB eyes jersey patch sponsorships

BBC SPORT: Scottish Rugby strikes ‘seven-figure’ deal to extend kit supply

SPORTS PRO MEDIA: Rich Energy pulls plug on Haas F1 title sponsorship

SOURCE: The Briefing #085 | POWA index