GroupM Unveils Bespoke Women's Sports Marketplace

WPP's GroupM unit this morning announced plans to double its annual media investment in women's sports-related media, and has created a new, dedicated marketplace to focus on it.

As part of the initiative, GroupM said it is looking for "first-to-market" opportunities for its roster of clients including Adidas, Ally, Coinbase, Discover, Google, Mars, Nationwide, Unilever, Universal Pictures and others in its 2024-25 upfront media-buying negotiations.

Beyond ad-spending commitments, GroupM said the GroupM Women's Sports Marketplace will work with media companies to help drive "discovery, promotion and monetization" of women's sports.

“Starting with this year’s upfront negotiations, our team will procure elevated opportunities that are a win-win for our advertisers. GroupM advertisers have challenged the marketplace to flip the script on how to invest in women’s sports, and they will continue to play a pivotal role moving forward," U.S. Chief Investment Officer Matt Sweeney said in a statement announcing the marketplace.



Despite increases in overall ad spending allocated to women's sports in recent years, Sweeney noted, "women’s sports investments only comprise a mere fraction of total media spend in sports."

GroupM did not disclose how much its clients currently spend on women's sports, but it cited Deloitte data estimating that it currently is a $1 billion global marketplace.

The WPP media investment unit said the idea for a dedicated women's sports marketplace began last year when Ally Chief Marketing and PR Officer Andrea Brimmer called on he agency to help develop it in time for this year's upfront negotiations.

She envisioned a mix of advertising and sponsorship opportunities, including "bespoke packages to grassroots investments with leagues and athlete-owned entertainment companies.

“At Ally, we dreamed about reimagining the investment approach so we could drive systemic change in the way women’s sports media is bought and sold. And, today, through the leadership of GroupM and their many clients across industries, this dream is becoming a reality.”

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