Insights from CSM’s The Weekend Project, our proprietary qualitative research platform.
From ticket sales to TV audiences and everything in between, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 was a record-shattering tournament. Another high-water mark for a sport where the sky truly is the limit.
So, what does the future hold for women’s football, and what role can fans and the media play in shaping that future? Through our Weekend Project study into modern Football Fandom, we put those questions to a few devoted followers of the game so we could hear, first hand, from those who matter most.
Here are the key outtakes from the study, including why traditional football experiences do not always satisfy the needs of younger audiences, and why women’s football provides a chance to reimagine how we engage with the sport. If you want to hear more about the opportunities surrounding women’s football, please get in touch with Victoria Monk (Victoria.firstname.lastname@example.org).
The changing face of football fandom
Many young fans are rejecting the traditions of football fandom
Non-traditional channels are more accessible (due to technology) and more inclusive.
‘Now I’m even more immersed in football than I ever thought possible because of the technology we all have access to.’ Rohan • 22 • Sydney, Australia
A necessity as much as a choice
Those traditional football experiences (live attendance, paywall broadcasts) are simply too expensive and prohibitive.
‘I’m unable to watch the games currently due to financial constraints and the lack of availability of tickets for my local club.’ Samantha • 28 • Newcastle, UK
Younger fans have higher expectations from players, clubs, organisations, and sponsors. They want unfettered access to players and expect them to use their platforms to advocate for social causes. They inherently understand the reach and appeal of clubs and don’t think they do enough to give back to their global fanbase. The same can be said through the lens of sponsorships, fans feel left out of the equation.
Hear from the fans
‘Soccer clubs should take a more definitive stance against current social issues and sustainability.’ Freja • 18 • Brooklyn, USA
‘It’s a bad sponsorship if there is no connection with the fans. It means they have been ignored.’ Alana • 22 • Sydney, Australia
Women’s football: A breath of fresh air
- Women’s football offers relatable and down-to-earth players.
‘Female players who are at the top of their game are making huge steps for women’s football and I enjoy following them closely. Most of them use their voices to fight for gender equality and other issues.’ Freja • 18 • Brooklyn, USA
- The atmosphere at women’s games is inclusive and fun.
‘Women’s football has the potential to create a positive and inclusive environment, free from the toxicity that can plague the men’s game.’ Kathy • 20 • Adelaide, Australia
- Fans want more investment in the women’s game whilst adhering to the same values and not over-commercialising the game
‘I want to see greater sponsorship and brand involvement, better pay for female athletes’ Aaryan • 19 • Melbourne, Australia