Our friends and partners at Deloitte released their 2024 TMT (tech, media, and telecom) predictions, including projections for women’s elite sports revenue, and the outlook is very bright. Like, over $1,000,000,000 bright!
Deloitte predicts that women’s elite sports will generate global revenues of $1.28 billion in 2024, which is an over 300% increase from their projections in 2020. This would be the first time that annual global revenue for women’s sports surpasses the $1 billion mark.
Soccer and basketball are projected to be the most valuable sports at $555 million and $354 million respectively. North America is forecast to be the largest geographical market with Europe in second.
The market leading accounting firm’s forecast was made using three main categories for women’s sports revenue: matchday, broadcast, and commercial.
Matchday, which includes ticket sales, food and beverage, and other gameday revenue sources, is projected to be the smallest of the revenue sources at 19% of total revenue. But it is the largest growing category, going from 14% of total revenue in 2023 to 19% in 2024.
Broadcast, which includes media rights deals and other media related revenue sources, is projected to grow from $264.87 million to $351 million, a 27% share of total revenue. The cost of these new media rights deals has gone up significantly in recent years, thanks to the meteoric rise in viewership of women’s sports.
The final category, commercial, is the largest by far with a 55% share of total projected revenue. This category is made up of sponsorship, partnership, and merchandise sales revenue. Newer, larger sponsorship deals can be credited for the sizeable growth of this category.
In the study, Jennifer Haskel, Insights lead for the Deloitte Sports Business Group, said, “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 also points to the increasingly prevalent belief that women’s sports are a unique product, distinct from their male counterparts, as a key reason for this growth.
The value of teams and leagues are also projected to grow sizably, with Deloitte projecting several teams’ valuations to exceed $100 million in 2024.
Arguably the biggest reason for the overall revenue growth in 2024 will be the major events and global competitions hosted throughout the year, such as the Women’s Tennis Association These events are projected to contribute $425 million in revenue, which is 33% of the total projection.
For this growth to continue in the years to come, teams and leagues must focus on accessibility. Fans of women’s sports have complained for years about how difficult it is to find and view women’s games. Until recently, many matchups were either shown at less than desirable times, or not broadcast at all. But, in the past few years, networks have really improved their coverage.
In a recent article, Forbes says that media coverage for women’s sports has increased significantly in the last five years. They report that women’s sports received a 15% share of media coverage in 2022, a nearly 300% increase from 2019.
If women’s athletics can continue to grow their total viewership and attendance, while still captivating new sponsors, there is no reason to expect this year-over-year growth to slow down any time soon!