Our Summer Highlights of Women's Sports 2017
2017 has been an incredible year for women’s sport, with a fantastic summer packed full of highs across varying sports. There have been record-viewing figures, an increase in broadcast on all commercial national television channels, new sponsorship deals signed with household names such as Vitality and Kia, and packed seats in stadiums.
Here in the Promote office, we pay daily attention to the newspaper headlines and have been overwhelmed by the volume of coverage both across print, online and broadcast news. Still bursting with pride, we decided to take a look back at our highlights of women’s sports this summer:
Football – Women’s UEFA European Championship
England’s Lionesses were resilient and determined as they battled their way to the semi-finals of the UEFA Women’s EURO’s. It was brilliant to see the public really get behind the players and support them the whole way, kicked off by Little Mix’s ‘Salute’ campaign which went viral on social media. Our office got involved too, check out our salute here.
Channel 4 showed every game live across its free-to-air TV and online platforms, and official figures showed England’s semi-final loss to Holland was watched by a British record television audience for women’s football of four million.
To build upon the current momentum of the women’s game, the FA is investing an annual sum of 17 million with the aim of doubling the number of girls playing football by 2020.
Hockey – EuroHockey Nations Championship
Following the phenomenal gold medal at last summer’s Olympic Games, England Women’s Hockey team continued its success with a bravely fought bronze medal at the 2017 Euro’s.
With interest in the sport at a record high, 80,000 tickets have already been sold for the Women’s Hockey World Cup that will be hosted in London in 2018. In June of this year, BT Sport agreed a two-year partnership with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) which sees the broadcaster cover various flagship hockey events, including the World Cup, World League Hockey Finals and most recently the Euros.
Cricket – ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket
The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, hosted by England in 2017, was an absolute triumph. The final at Lord’s was a sellout, with the 26,500 seats filled with supporters, including Promote’s very own Sue and Ruth who loved every minute of the tense final in which England claimed the victory.
50% of ticket buyers for the final were women, with 31% of those estimated to be under 16 years old. Coverage in national media was extensive, and following the success of the England team, Channel 5 have announced that they will be covering women’s cricket domestic highlights in 2018.
Rugby – Women’s Rugby World Cup
To round-off this incredible summer of women’s sport, England’s Red Roses made it all the way to the final of the Women’s Rugby World Cup, only to lose out to New Zealand in an enthralling game.
The 2017 tournament pulled in record-breaking viewing figures. Over two-and-a-half million people tuned in to primetime ITV1 to watch the final, which is the largest single audience for a Women’s Rugby World Cup final. 63,000 uses of the hashtag #WRWC2017 were tracked on social media, marking the first time rugby had seen an increase in engagement with a younger, newer audience on such a high level.
Of course, there have been many other highlights including Joanna Konta reaching the semi-final at Wimbledon and female athletic performances in the IAAF World Championships. There is an ever-growing appetite for women’s sport in the UK, and with so many successful sportswomen operating at the highest levels, we hope a generation of women and girls will be inspired to get involved in sport, and realise the opportunities open to them.