Survey identifies opportunities for W-League growth

Following the conclusion of the 2016/17 W-League, The Women’s Game conducted a survey of W-League supports in Australia and internationally to gain an understanding of how they interact with the W-League.

The aim of the survey was to gain an understanding of how supporters of the W-League currently consume content and to identify any future opportunities for growth.

“This survey looked to provide an insight into who W-League supporters are, how they are currently support the league and what are potential areas of growth for the league and its teams,” said Ann Odong, The Women’s Game Editor in Chief.

“Women’s football consumers are like any other football consumers and providing them with options and opportunities to support the game is vital.”

Conducted by TWG‘s Michael Alesich, the W-League survey saw over 1,500 supporters of women’s football to respond to 17 questions, covering topics including their connections with football generally, their participation in football, attendance at matches, consumption of broadcasts and purchasing of merchandise.

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Some key findings included:

  • 84.5% would watch a W-League broadcast if streamed online
  • 76.2% of respondents attended a Season 9 W-League match
  • 45.4% of those who attended double headers attended both W-League and A-League matches
  • 46.7% would purchase W-League specific memberships if they were available

The results demonstrate that the online space in an opportunity for growth for the W-League.  Currently 1 W-League match a week is broadcast on Fox Sports and ABC TV.  The ABC TV broadcast is available through iView but is geoblocked.  American supporters of the league are able to watch via ESPN3 but many other international audiences are locked out.  With the Matildas players plying their trades in countries such as Japan, Korea, Norway and the United States, these are potential markets for the W-League to continue to create a footprint.

The survey was also testament to the small amount of available W-League specific merchandise.  While many clubs sell A-League specific jerseys, W-League specific team kits are few and far between.  Much like Matildas specific jersey’s this may be an untapped area of revenue for clubs.

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“With the continuing growth of the women’s side of the game, hopefully administrators and clubs see the W-League as an opening to grow their brand beyond the traditional supporter base,” Odong concluded.

The 10th season of the W-League is set to commence in later October 2017.

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