Women in Sports Marketing and iGaming: How the Industry is Evolving

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The sports world has long been a male-dominated space, with female fans, athletes and contributors having to fight to get the same attention. That fight continues on today, with the US Women’s national soccer team only recently receiving equal pay to their male US counterparts despite being more successful, as an example.

The same can be true of the iGaming world, as gambling has long been geared towards men, with most of the advertising and products focusing on their interests. The tides are changing here as well though! Many different studies are showing that between 30-40% of today’s iGaming users are female, with different reports showcasing that growth.

With all that in mind, our latest piece looks at influential female athletes or influencers in sports and the iGaming world, and how important the female audience is to the iGaming ecosystem.

Female Athletes in Sports Marketing

There are multiple strong examples of female athletes making massive waves in sports and the business world, paving the way for future women who may not have received those opportunities in the past.

While Serena Williams is known for her dominance on the courts, she’s also been dominant in the business world, where she hopes to one day run a billion-dollar venture capital fund! She’s off to a terrific start, with over 60 startups that are now worth more than $111 million dollars. That’s on top of being one of the most endorsed female athletes in the world.

Though Serena is at the top of the female athlete endorsement list, she’s been passed by Alex Morgan, the American goalkeeper who’s won a number of titles with the US Women’s National Team. Last year, she was named the most endorsed athlete of the year, passing Serena, along with Naomi Osaka and Ali Krieger, due to endorsements with Coca-Cola, Google, AT&T and more.

Endorsements aren’t the only way forward for female athletes looking to get involved on the business side, with Danica Patrick being a shining example there. She skyrocketed to popularity in the mid-00s for her trailblazing career in the auto racing world. More recently though, she’s become a business mogul, with a net worth of over 80 million due to a vineyard, podcast and much more.

Female Athletes and Celebs in iGaming

While that covers how female athletes are dominating in the marketing and business world, there’s also been a large shift in iGaming, which has seen more women taking positions of prominence.

For example, take Rachel DeMita, one of the first women to become a brand ambassador for a major betting brand, when she became Caesars Sportsbook brand ambassador. She roses to fame creating a television series with the NBA 2K video game franchise, showing just how creative she is and how much value she can bring to iGaming brands.

Athletes are also taking the leap to partner with sportsbooks, Amanda Serrano being a prime example when she became the first boxer to partner exclusively with FanDuel for sports betting. The seven division champ is one of the biggest names in combat sports and the first female pro boxer to headline at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Stepping outside of the athlete sphere, it’s become clear to sportsbooks how value their female demographic is and brands have continued to look for relevant partnerships to further that. Gisele Bündchen joined DraftKings as Special Advisor to the CEO and Board, a smart coup to connect with to one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

It’s not just athletes joining the party, as their professional sports leagues are as well. Both the LPGA and WNBA have reached agreements with brands as their official sportsbook partners. The LPGA has linked up with BetMGM, while the WNBA has hit the court with FanDuel. Both partnerships are newer and hope to increase brand awareness and betting on women’s sports.

Breaking Down the Female iGaming Market

The female audience of the iGaming market is one of the fastest growing today.

A couple of years ago in 2021, 4.6 million women joined sports betting apps in the US, which marked a massive 115% increase from 2020.

That’s not the only market seeing this, as the UKGC announced last year that 42% of their bettors were female when looking at a large sample of their overall betting handle, with their most widely played verticals being lottery and bingo. They also noted that from 2017 to 2021, online gambling increased by 8% with women.

The future continues to be exciting, furthered by a report Deloitte Canada did on potential bettors (those who are interested in placing a bet but haven’t done so in 12 months). They estimated that potential bettors make up 58.5% of the sportsbook community in Canada, with 57% of that group being female, showcasing how valuable this demographic is for brands looking to reach new users and increase their market share.

Key Takeaways

It’s become apparent to brands that the female demographics is a vital one for growth in the iGaming world. While much of the marketing and focus is on males who are looking to bet, brands would be wise to also focus on female gamers as well, as they can be a great source of growth for brands looking to reach new users.