Thought Leadership

Women’s World Cup underlines it’s all to play for

A flurry of brand activations demonstrates the cultural firepower of women’s sport.

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


“The Lionesses have brought football home, now it's down to the rest of us to make sure it stays here.” TV presenter Gaby Logan’s stirring conclusion to the England team’s historic Euros win underlined that the legacy of women’s football is all to play for.

While England lost out to Spain in a nail-biting finale, the question for brands and agencies alike is simple: did you lose out by sitting on the sidelines? The close of the tournament brings with it an inflection point for the industry which extends well beyond the traditional realms of sports sponsorship and rights deals.

From redefining role models to capitalising on the appeal of players redefining the game on their own terms, agencies and marketers alike are placing the tournament in the spotlight. The shift surrounding women’s sports and the cultural capital of the players themselves remains at the top of the marketing agenda.

With that in mind here is a round-up of some of the stand-out campaigns, insights and learnings from the landmark tournament.

‘It feels like a revolution’

A new report from Revolt and Kind underlines the long-term opportunity and unique cultural revolution powered by women’s football.

The Women’s World Cup can unlock activism opportunities for brands

Ahead of the tournament, PHA’s Tim Jotischky considered how the engaged audience and untapped potential of the Women’s World Cup made it such an exciting prospect.

Two-thirds of UK set to tune into the women’s World Cup, but are advertisers watching?

Despite an engaged, excited audience, early on brands were still failing to embrace the opportunities and seemed reluctant to spend.

Designing a level playing field

“Visualise a world where your boots don’t quite fit so you’re more likely to get a serious injury, where every week hours of work are not recognised or remunerated.” The Women’s World Cup served as an opportunity for Household’s Katie Walmsley to consider the importance of inclusivity in design.

Ripping up the rule book: how music can be a game changer for the FIFA Women’s World Cup

MassiveMusic’s Aifric Lennon says the women’s game has a unique opportunity to carve out its own sound.

The Women’s World Cup: Where's the chatter?

With just days to go until the Women’s World Cup Dark Horses’ Eve De Haan was calling for more conversation and coverage of the tournament.

Women’s World Cup ’23: A bright atmosphere. A bright design. A bright future.

Alice Banham on how branding is helping to carve out a new unique identity for Women’s Football.

Why helping to prevent ACL injuries is an open goal for brands

How Anterior cruciate ligament injuries (ACL) are affecting women in sport and what brands can do to support female athletes.

Want to watch the Women’s World Cup at work in peace?

With games taking place during the day, Joint’s fake AI generated webinar blocks out time in the diary to allow audiences to give the beautiful game their full attention.

URGENT meeting request: Join England Team Call

A cheeky campaign from EE saw the brand block out the nation’s calendars to allow them to watch the Women’s World Cup semi-final.

Venus encourages women and girls to play sports by tackling skin-consciousness

The #MoveYourSkin campaign featured Lotte Wubben-Moy to normalise real skin in sports and encourage more women to get out and play.

CALM highlights the unseen signals of suicide with Lioness Fran Kirby

The campaign from VMLY&R used the women’s game as a launch pad to spotlight the rising rates of suicide in young women under 25.

Mary Queen of Stops and moments that matter

Nike’s decision and subsequent U-turn on selling Mary Earps’ shirt shows how the brand failed to capitalise on a moment of magic and demonstrate true commitment to female talent.

Wish you were here

Josh Green, Executive Creative Director at House 337’s sports practice, looks back at what might have been if brands had embraced the Women’s World Cup

EE celebrates Lionesses' legacy with ‘Our Pride Does Not End Here’ campaign

EE and Saatchi & Saatchi celebrated England’s historic performance in the Women’s World Cup with an emotive campaign.

What can we learn from the Luis Rubiales incident

Luis Rubiales’ unsolicited kiss at the FIFA Women’s World Cup underlines the importance of timeTo training.

How brands must move the goalposts for women’s sports

BBD Perfect Storm’s Daisy Proctor says that brands must invest in the meaningful moments created by women’s sport.