New Balance, Cadillac, Glossier Win With Women's Sports

A new study finds that women's sports are gaining marketing muscle, driven by athletes like tennis phenom Coco Gauff and Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark.

EDO’s analysis found double-digit year-over-year increases in ad effectiveness during women’s sports programming, especially in tennis, WNBA and NCAA basketball.

Some brands are using those live events far better than others. Among the findings: New Balance ads performed 203% more effectively than the average women's sports advertiser. Kesimpta, a medication for multiple sclerosis, did 173% better, while Cadillac performed 171% better.

“The growing interest in women’s sports presents a major opportunity for TV advertisers,” says EDO’s Laura Grover, senior vice president and head of client solutions, in the report. “Live sports have consistently been the TV programs most successful at driving consumers to engage with brands, generating key outcomes like online searches that are proven predictors of future sales.”



Tennis has the most impact, with women’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open matches landing the top two spots in all women’s sports programming, outperforming the average prime-time broadcast and cable ad by 53% and 51%, respectively.

The WNBA is coming on strong, with ad engagement growing by 7% during the regular season, 23% during the playoffs and 30% in the finals.

And the Caitlin Clark Effect is undeniable. When the University of Iowa star, soon to turn pro, is on the court, games perform 7% better. She stars in six different State Farm ads, with those spots 46% more likely to generate engagement than the average State Farm ad.

Sportswear brands focusing on women athletes did well, including Adidas, Puma, Nike and Vuori.

Separately, Glossier, the D2C beauty brand, announced that it has entered its fourth year partnering with the WNBA.

This year’s plans include activating at tentpole events and introducing content focusing on players' voices and stories.

The brand partnership started with Glossier's Body Hero line during the 2020 WNBA Bubble season, featuring the legendary Sue Bird. Since then, the beauty brand has spotlighted the Chicago Sky's Izzy Harrison, Minnesota Lynx's Diamond Miller and Natalie Achonwa, Dallas Wings' Stephanie Soares and Washington Mystics' Ariel Atkins in their Stretch Complexion campaign.

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