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The Women’s World Cup is just around the corner, as 32 teams will compete for the World Cup from July 20th to August 20th in Australia and New Zealand. While this tournament is younger than the men’s edition, that hasn’t stopped these talented women from busting down barriers and generating a ton of interest in their exhilarating brand of soccer.
It’s a common misconception that the men’s game always draw more interest, as can be seen with the 2019 Women's World Cup. On that occasion, 14.3 million viewers tuned in from the US, while only 11.4 million checked out the men’s final in 2018. That’s a 22% difference and one that showcases the true potential of this tournament.
With all that considered, we put together this piece to breakdown the upcoming tournament and the iGaming market for women’s soccer, along with providing helpful tips on how best to promote this massive soccer event to your audience.
Women’s World Cup
The upcoming tournament taking place in Australasia promises to be one of the most exciting yet, with multiple teams in contention for the crown. As usual, the United States are the favorite to take the crown at +275, with perennial challengers England (+350), Spain (+650+), Germany (+650) and France (+750) trailing just behind with oddsmakers. As always, the tournament will showcase some of the biggest stars in the women’s game, like Sam Kerr in her native Australia, Christine Sinclair of Canada, Lauren Hemp of England and Alex Morgan of the US.
There’s a ton of big matches to mark on calendars as this tournament promises to be a spectacle of the sport. The group stage kicks off with New Zealand vs Norway on July 20th, with other big matches happening between elite sides like the US vs the Netherlands on July 26th and Japan vs Spain on July 31st. Skipping ahead a little, the semi-finals will take place on August 15th and 16th, before the tournament wraps up on August 20th at Stadium Australia.
Women’s Soccer Viewership and iGaming Prospects
While there hasn’t been a strong presence on sportsbooks for women’s soccer, the opportunity remains for sportsbook to heavily invest in this sport. We already discussed how strong viewership was for the last Women’s World Cup, there are several other factors showcasing how women’s soccer may be about to take a big leap in the iGaming world.
In the US in particular, the visibility of the game is increasing, as viewership on the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) grew by 476% in 2020, which was the first year that games were readily available to users. The NWSL is a newer league and this explosive growth will only help the women’s game continue to evolve.
Additionally, DraftKings recently reported that bets on women’s sports are up 61% year over year, while overall handle has increased by 22% on women’s sports. While those numbers aren’t specifically for women’s soccer, it shows how interest in women’s sports is increasing, specifically when it comes to users placing bets on the games.
This tournament is also a great chance to connect with a younger audience, as 12% of Gen Z fans prefer the women’s game and 58% of Gen Z fans who prefer women’s soccer, also identify as ‘Superfans’ who watch as many as games as possible, according to a study from Footballco and Indivisa.
Women’s World Cup Marketing Strategies
Soccer is a sport dominated by individual superstars and this tournament will be no different. Depending on where your brand or website operates, we suggest focusing on stars that are well known to your audience, whether because they originate from your market or play their club football there. We mentioned top names like Sam Kerr earlier, but there are a variety of top stars to consider, including Marta from Brazil, Wendie Renard of France, Alexia Putellas of Spain and Megan Rapinoe of the US.
The Women’s World Cup is also positioned at a great spot in the sports calendar, as most major sports are off for the summer, like club soccer, basketball, American football and more. That gives the WWC much less competition for visibility other than the MLB. This gives sportsbooks a terrific chance to promote offers on the Women’s World Cup and increase interest in the games.
In the group stage of the tournament, there are multiple games happening daily, so we suggest also creating bets that parlay those games together, to create engagement and have fans looking into the event throughout the day.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup represents a massive opportunity for sportsbooks, and the affiliates who promote them, to have success in the middle of the summer when things are typically a lot quieter in the sports world. Younger audiences are flocking to the sport and a global tournament like this with an exciting product can mean strong gains for everyone involved.