Manchester United W.F.C. Drives Considerable Engagement Compared to NBA & MLB Teams
Sixty thousand seven hundred thirty-nine – last season’s record-breaking attendance for a women’s soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona played in the Spanish capital. The chances of eclipsing the attendance record seem highly likely, especially with the appeal, success, and fandom of this summer’s Women’s World Cup where not only teams, but also stars like Megan Rapinoe, Amandine Henry, and Sam Kerr shined under the international spotlight.
Since European women’s soccer leagues start later than then men’s leagues (while here in the states the MLS and NWSL seasons are nearing the end of their seasons), we wanted to take a look at some of the engagement and partner valuation numbers, as well as how the numbers compare across the sports sponsorship ecosystem. To narrow down our scope, we chose Manchester United W.F.C. (Manchester United Women) who kick off the FA Women’s Super League in a crosstown derby versus Manchester City W.F.C on September 7.
Manchester United Women vs the NBA & MLB
Manchester United Women are still in their domestic offseason, similar to the NBA but unlike MLB teams that are currently in season. We compared Manchester United Women’s engagement on their owned and operated social channels versus NBA and MLB teams from August 1, 2019 – August 31, 2019.
Even in the offseason, Manchester United Women received more engagements than the MLB’s Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins. On top of that, Manchester United Women boast a better total engagement than the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic, and only lag slightly behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Examples of Sponsorship Exposure
So, what to do with all this engagement? Drive valuable exposure for your front of jersey and kit partners. Recently, the ladies of Manchester United dropped a new, sleek kit, and in the process made sure to include partners Chevrolet and Adidas on social media posts. This particular Instagram carousel post drove over 29,000 engagements, solidifying it as the team’s most engaging post for August. Katie Zelem is one of the most recognizable young stars in women’s soccer having previously played for Juventus and Liverpool, and ManU is leveraging that fact to really build an audience.
Similar to the continued growth and development of esports, women’s teams around the world continue to provide substantial value for their brand partners. While Manchester United Women’s kit features the same partner for men and women, FC Barcelona Femeni partners with Stanley Black & Decker as their front of jersey partner (whereas the men partner with Rakuten). The 2019 Women’s World Cup catapulted many female soccer players into our daily social media feeds; we’ll be watching the European season closely.