The unstoppable rise continues

2022 was a record-breaking year for women’s sport, and a year that saw monumental growth, but 2023 is set to be even bigger. There’s an endless list of events to look forward to. With World Cups in football, netball and cricket; the ground-breaking introduction of the Women’s Premier League, TikTok Women’s Six Nations, the list goes on.

In that spirit, we asked members of our Women’s Sport team for their take on what’s to come in this highly anticipated year of women’s sport. Here’s what they had to say:

Brooke Destefani, US

This may be somewhat expected but I’m excited to see what the 2023 Women’s World Cup will bring for a couple of different reasons.  I’m eager to see how sponsors show up and amplify the stories of the event, teams and players. I look for viewership to rise from previous years and, specifically for the US, be a catalyst for increased viewership and investment in the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League). With the momentum that women’s soccer has generated in the past couple of years in terms of equal pay and sustained growth within the NWSL, it’s exciting to have chatter and buzz ahead of a World Cup instead of reacting to the event once it’s here.

Nicole Clark, UK

The thing that I am most excited about for this year across women’s sport is to see how brands, leagues and teams are promoting and authentically supporting the stories of incredible female athletes. We saw the impressive and wide reaching nature that the Women’s Euros had last year, but I am looking forward to the stories that are told this year and the other sports that are becoming more accessible among younger girls.

Matthew Tsang, Hong Kong

For me, the best thing to look out for in 2023 for women’s sport is the development and growth of football in Asia. This year we have the most AFC teams qualified in Women’s World Cup history, with Southeast Asian countries Vietnam and Philippines both making their first tournament debut.

Last year, India hosted the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup which saw unprecedented engagement throughout the tournament, demonstrating the ongoing growth and interest in women’s football in Asia. Throughout the tournament, we saw 6 million views in Korea, 22.5 million in Vietnam and in China, 31 million tuned in for just the final alone. The opportunity presented for this year could not get any better as all three markets’ national teams will be competing in the upcoming Women’s World Cup.

These are very telling signs of commercial opportunities for brands, but more importantly, we hope the World Cup will continue to inspire many young and aspiring females in Asia to participate in football and sports as a whole.

Victoria Monk, UK

We saw monumental growth for women’s sport in 2022, and 2023 is set to be even bigger and better. The recent news surrounding the Women’s IPL has been astounding and I’m so excited for the impact the competition could have on women’s cricket and women’s sport more broadly – it genuinely could be revolutionary…

Five Women’s IPL franchises sold for a total of £465m (breaking the records of the inaugural men’s IPL in 2008), while its broadcast rights have also been acquired for $116.5m – one of the largest ever rights deals in women’s sport. If we then cast our minds back to 2008, when the Men’s IPL was launched, there were fewer than 50 female professional players in the world. Now, fast forwarding to 2023, a handful of the current generation will soon become amongst the best-paid team sports athletes in the world. It is so exciting to see that evolution. Despite 2023 also featuring a FIFA Women’s World Cup, the ground-breaking women’s IPL could perhaps be *the* event of the year in women’s sport…


Kathryn Rhodes, Hong Kong

The FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand has to be top of my list. It’s going to be the first sporting event I take my daughter to and I’m so excited to see her reaction! She was mesmerised watching the FIFA World Cup last year on TV so this will be a whole new experience for her. As a Netball fan and player, I will also be glued to the Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa to see if the Roses can replicate their iconic win at the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Finally, as we see China opening up again, global events will flood back which will provide a brilliant platform for women’s sport to flourish further.

Aysel Waring, UAE

Over the past few years, we were lucky to witness a women’s sport growth spurt in the Gulf region, breaking stereotypes and building a solid foundation for future generations. We have witnessed so many inspiring female athletes, sports personalities and industry leaders making their way to the top and the future looks even more fascinating. Building upon the success of the World Cup in Qatar and other international sporting events in the region, 2023 promises to be another step up as there’s been a huge focus on keeping women’s sport moving forward in parallel to growing sport overall. And our Middle East team will be driving some of the biggest regional initiatives that will help to grow the industry.

One of the key programmes is AD360 – an initiative launched by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council aiming to get the community moving, with families, women and children in the heart of it. On the other hand, Shuhub, an initiative launched by NEOM in 2022, will come back in 2023 with an even bigger focus on girls in football, from grassroots to professional leagues.

Brooke Destefani
Nicole Clark
Matt Tsang
Viki Monk
Kathryn Rhodes_2
aysel waring

Nicola Dutton, UK

I believe that 2023 will bring an unprecedented acceleration in commercial growth in women’s sport. The visibility and momentum gained last year is a fantastic jumping off point – perceived value is increasing, brands and investors are starting to take notice, and it’s only a matter of time before they put their money where their mouth is. This much needed investment will only accelerate growth further, fueling a positive feedback cycle of success beyond what many think is possible. More money > better resources > better product > bigger entertainment > more money!

Oh, and I wouldn’t mind a summer of more spine-tingling Lionesses wins. Maybe even another trophy…. I really hope this comment ages well!

Greg Francis, UK

We’re right in the middle of the most exciting and well followed Barclays Women’s Super League ever. I’m looking forward to watching Sam Kerr score week after week and lead Chelsea to the title! For me, it’s fantastic to see women’s football finally getting the respect and exposure it deserves. So, for 2023, I can’t wait to see more sold-out stadiums, more last-minute winners and more role models emerging from the sport as we head towards what promises to be an unforgettable FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia & New Zealand.

Hannah Mogg, UK

I am most looking forward to the Netball World Cup in South Africa. The 2022 Commonwealth Games accidently rekindled my love for netball after not watching or playing it at all for about 10 years (as it did for a lot of people because it happened to be on prime time tv). I think Netball is one of the most underrated spectator sports on the planet and the World Cup hosted by South Africa – a nation of netball enthusiasts – will be immense. You would be a fool to miss it!

Baylee Pryde, UK

Netball, netball and more netball, is what I’m most looking forward to in 2023. I’m excited to see the rise of netball fandom in the UK as more and more domestic and international series are becoming available for live viewing on free-to-air and pay tv broadcast channels. In January we had England v Jamaica tri-series (Jan 11-15) fully available on the BBC. Then from Jan 21 we had the quad Series (England, Australia, New Zealand & South Africa) available on Sky.

In Feb/March we move into Domestic series with Netball Superleague (UK) and Suncorp Superleague Netball (Aus) taking centre stage on Sky. All this culminating in July when we see Cape Town host the Netball World Cup 2023, where England, Australia and Jamaica will be looking to knock New Zealand off the top spot following their title win in Liverpool 2019.

So here’s to netball, and a little more netball in 2023.

Brittnee Gilbert, US

In 2023, I am looking forward to following the FIFA Women’s World Cup (GO USA!). With last year’s headlines surrounding equal pay and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, I am interested to see how global brands will activate their sponsorships surrounding the tournament.

Cameron Scott, UK

World Cups in football, netball and cricket, TikTok Women’s Six Nations, Tour De France Femmes, the conclusion of the most exciting Women’s Super League to date, the list goes on… There really is so much to look forward to in women’s sport in 2023. Last year, the Women’s EUROs and Women’s Rugby World Cup showcased the strong appetite and engagement with women’s sport and I expect to see this go even further in 2023, with record-breaking attendance and viewership figures in several sports and events.

I’m looking forward to seeing how women’s sport builds on 2022’s platform by innovating further this year across all touchpoints to deepen engagement with existing fans while reaching new audiences. With growing attendances, viewership, participation and commercial interest – I’m really excited for what’s set to be a great year for women’s sport on and off the field.

Nicola Dutton
greg francis
hannah mogg
Baylee Pryde
brittnee gilbert
Cam Scott