Women’s Football Business Award
Bristol Rovers Community Trust
The innovative launch of Bristol Rovers Women’s FC used aspects of media in a way our charity hadn’t done before. Utilising the excitement from the Women’s World Cup in 2019 we launched the project using Bristol’s unique selling points of music, street art and history. We used all forms of social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram targeting females of all ages. We utilised the historical value of the team which previously existed in the 1980’s to restore pride back into our community. Delivery was targeted in an area of high deprivation to reach the communities in greatest need. We targeted specific partners to benefit the project financially and ensure sustainability. Our objectives indicated the need for volunteers and these have been at the heart of the project. Social action is fundamental, including physios, photographers and coaches. The project has a diverse participant and fan base and this can be seen from the number of LGBT and BAME players recruited. The project has become an inspirational goal for females within our community. The launch of the club has also created inter generational links between players, fans and families The project has clearly shown Impact and effectiveness through data collected.
Our brand goal is to continue to grow and deepen the connection with our fanbase by becoming the most exciting brand in women’s football We do this through engaging marketing initiatives underpinned by our brand platform: Nothing Stops Us Nothing Stops Us is a rallying cry to the entire women’s football community In a country which saw a 50-year ban on women’s football lifted only in 1971, the impact of the summer of 2022 can’t be understated Seeing the Lionesses earn – demand – the respect of the nation felt like a tipping point, a long-dreamed-of finish line for generations of women who have fought for the right to play Hard-won progress is not given up easily Nothing Stops Us doesn’t look to the future, doesn’t talk about ‘one day’: we believe that women’s football has arrived It’s the 30th anniversary of Chelsea FC Women this season League titles, global cover stars and a Stamford Bridge sell-out This generation of Blues stands on the shoulders of those before them: those who had a vision and never took no for an answer.
EA SPORTS FIFA: WE’RE IN THE GAME
EA SPORTS unveiled a significant commitment to women’s football through unprecedented integration of licenses and female athletes in FIFA 23 and a ground-breaking investment in women’s grassroots football.
FIFA 23 saw the unveil of Chelsea’s Sam Kerr as the game’s first ever female global cover athlete; joining Kylian Mbappe on the key art of the world’s biggest sports video game.
The introduction of new licensing agreements with competitions, leagues and clubs including UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) and Women’s Super League (WSL) underpinned the authentic integration of women’s football into FIFA 23 while the ‘head scans’ of 300 women’s players powered realistic in-game animation.
While FIFA 23 provides women’s football with a platform to reach millions of new fans and captivate the next generation, EA SPORTS also underlined its commitment across the entire women’s football pyramid by unveiling its ‘Starting XI Fund’; an $11m investment into women’s grassroots football.
Exeter City Community Trust
Exeter City Women’s Football Club has gone from strength to strength in recent years thanks to the support of Exeter City Football Club and its partner charity Exeter City Community Trust.
From being close to folding, the team is now thriving and a female football pathway, from tiny tots through to the women’s team, has been developed in Exeter.
Alongside this the organisation runs a successful Girls’ Development Centre and two Emerging Talent Centres, helping to develop the female footballers of the future.
The Women’s Team at the Hibernian Football Club was started in 1997, albeit they were known as Preston Athletic, switching to Hibernian in 1999. In the 25 years since its inception, the Club has won the League 3 times, the Scottish Cup 8 times, and the Scottish League Cup 7 times. Making it one of the most successful clubs in women’s football. However, the rich history of the women’s team was under pressure from outside forces and needing a boost. As of 1 July 2022, the women’s team which was a standalone entity, became fully integrated within the wider Hibernian Football Club. To bring the women’s team forward, the Club knew it needed to lead from the top and formed a Women’s Advisory board. The board consisted of well-connected individuals who have all been successful in business and had three key drivers—grow revenue, grow the fanbase, and use the wider Hibernian Football Club existing systems to grow professionalism. During the past year, the women’s team has broken the domestic record for attendance at a women’s game, and has competed in the League Cup final, being one of the first two teams to be shown on Sky Sports.
MatchFit is an independent sports PR and sponsorship activation agency with a deep expertise within football. We want everyone to love sport as much as we do. This is the inspirational guiding light and mission behind our existence. This mission flows through MatchFit; our model, people, work and clients.
There is no more exciting growth story in all of sport right now than that of women’s football.
As an agency that is so deeply embedded within the game, we saw it as our responsibility to seize this generational moment in time to push the industry forward and build on the foundations which exist to truly and sustainably grow women’s football.
This year our work has been felt across the game spanning grassroots and para PR campaigns such as ‘Let Girls Play’ for The FA, professional competitions and teams for the Women’s FA Cup and the Lionesses, as well as brand and sponsorship work for the likes of FOOTY.com and LiveScore.
We are incredibly proud that more than 35% of our PR agency output across April 2022 to March 2023 came in women’s football, and that trend is only heading in one direction.
In 2020 UEFA’s goal was to make the Women’s EURO a record-breaking tournament. Cue a global pandemic – it’s postponed.
A new tournament brand was launched with the same goal – to make an impact. Women’s football wasn’t to be marketed as something different that needed sympathetic support. It was to be a world-class tournament. Sharing the drama, excitement and spellbinding potential of women’s football through an event that would grip a football-hungry nation.
Messaging needed to be positive and boldly confident. The creative campaign, ‘It’s Show Time’ made a promise to current fans and intrigued prospective fans, waiting in the wings to be won-over.
A ballot was used for the first time, after BBC1’s live draw, creating a sense of urgency. A record 575,000 tickets were sold – more than double any previous Women’s EURO tournament, with the final attended by more people than any EUROs Final in history, men or women!
Southampton FC Women’s team has seen huge success Since reforming in 2017, they have gone from strength to strength, achieving consecutive back-to-back promotions.
The team now play in The FA Women’s Championship and all games are played at St Mary’s Stadium; the same stadium the men’s first team play at After achieving promotion to The FA Women’s Championship, the club took the decision to alter the status of the women’s programme from part-time to full-time.
This decision was taken to prepare the women’s team for the next challenge. The full-time model sees multi-disciplinary support at Southampton Football Club’s state-of-the-art Staplewood Campus for the programme, including access to all facilities and expertise. This was announced just ahead of the 2022/23 season starting.
The club is on a mission to grow the fanbase of the women’s game, grow participation in women’s and girls’ football and aim to achieve promotion to The FA Women’s Super League.
This has been underpinned by three milestone changes for their debut season in The FA Women’s Championship: the professionalisation of all women’s team players, moving home games to St Mary’s Stadium and acquiring Starling Bank as front-of-shirt partner to help deliver a positive impact for the game.
We are Wrexham AFC we were founded in 1864, based in between the Welsh mountains and Dee Valley we are proud to be the oldest football club in Wales and the third oldest professional association football team in the world.
We are more than just a football club we are a community club which brings communities together and provides individuals with hope and a sense of belonging, we make a positive difference.
That positive difference is no more evident than in our commitment to developing and growing Women and Girls Football in Wrexham and North Wales.