Ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 final, we’ve taken a look at some of the top marketing campaigns associated with the competition. At the time of writing, England’s Lionesses have just defeated Australia in the semi-finals, sending them through to the final match on Sunday.
Many brands have seen this event not just as a sports tournament, but as a brilliant marketing opportunity. In this post, we’ll review the companies that have chosen to tap into the timely conversations and commercial market that surrounds women’s football right now.
Women’s sports have been growing in popularity in recent years, and for good reason, making it an attractive industry for many brands to invest in. One forecaster has suggested that more than 2 billion viewers will have tuned in to watch the World Cup this year, up from 1.12 billion in 2019. So, who has been taking advantage of this growing audience?
First up is Unilever – the official sponsor of the World Cup (next to FIFA). Its brands include Rexona, Dove, Lifebuoy and Lux which are all sponsors. Unilever and many of its brands work to address environmental or social issues, such as the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and the collaboration with FIFA is no different.
Working with FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme, Unilever plans to work on a range of initiatives to help improve the growth of women’s football across the world. Interestingly, the partnership also marks the first personal care brands to collaborate across women’s, men’s and FIFA esports.
A new campaign titled #MoveYourSkin has arrived from Gillette brand Venus, partnered with England player Lotte Wubben-Moy. The campaign includes a 30-second TV ad that aims to break down the barriers standing between women and entering sports.
According to the campaign, over a third of women in the UK say they don’t want to participate in sports because they worry about the way their skin looks, something that the #MoveYourSkin campaign wants to end by showing real skin in sports.
Venus is also partnering with a youth education charity Football Beyond Borders as part of the campaign, creating a self-awareness curriculum-based lesson which is available to schools in London and Manchester. The Arsenal defender commented: “Football should be open to everyone but we all know it’s not, so when we have an opportunity to break down a barrier, we have to take it.
“That’s why I’m proud to be part of Venus’s #MoveYourSkin campaign for a second year. As a player in the public eye, I sometimes experience insecurities about how I look, but being part of a team boosts your confidence and empowers you to celebrate differences and be unique. That’s something that all girls deserve to find.”
Budweiser, the official beer of the Women’s World Cup, has launched a huge campaign around the tournament. The multi-channel campaign ‘Greatness is Yours to Take’ features both Beth Mead and former professional Karen Carney. Including a 30-second hero advert, Budweiser’s campaign focuses on the England team’s achievements so far and their determination to seize greatness.
The beer brand has also launched retail competitions, giving away prizes and selling merchandise in support of the World Cup. Plus, it will be donating 50p to support adult women’s football via The FA for every pack of Budweiser 15x300ML sold in Tesco.
Featuring both TV adverts and on-pack promotions, cereal brand Weetabix has created a large campaign for the Women’s World Cup. The promotional boxes offer buyers the opportunity to win thousands of footballs and an official home nations shirt every 90 minutes. Meanwhile, not one, but three TV ads will also run during the tournament.
Lorraine Rothwell, head of marketing at Weetabix, said: “We’re proud to be championing women’s football once again this year. With the FIFA Women’s World Cup falling within the school holidays, this promotion encourages even more families to get behind the game and support their chosen team to victory in what looks set to be the biggest year for the sport yet.”
Car manufacturer Hyundai has created a 60-second film as part of their new campaign for the World Cup, which showcases a brief history of women’s football across more than 130 years to see how far we’ve come.
Hyundai also keenly highlights its historical sponsorship of the tournament (since 1999), aiming to support equal opportunities in sports. In addition, Hyundai is sponsoring an exhibition ‘Calling the Shots: Faces of Women’s Football,’ at the FIFA Museum to celebrate the heritage of players, staff and supporters of the women’s World Cup so far.
Many other brands have thrown their weight behind the competition, including top sports brands such as Adidas with its ‘Play Until They Can’t Look Away’ advert and Nike. Keep an eye out for your favourites and remember to cheer on England on Sunday!