As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, there’s much to cheer about. Yet the game is far from over. The advancement of women’s sports has been slowed by a lack of resources in measurement and comprehensive assessment tools. To meet this challenge, SeeHer’s initiative, SeeHer in Sports, has just launched the SeeHer in Sports Scorecard Powered by AT&T.
The new tool was inspired by SeeHer’s Gender Equality Measure® (GEM®), the first global data-driven methodology to identify gender bias in media. The Scorecard allows brands, sports leagues, and media organizations to quantify and benchmark their gender equality initiatives and programming. The information collected from the Scorecard will provide crucial insight into representation in sports and will allow the industry to reflect and connect with female consumers.
In this week’s blog, SeeHer EVP/Membership Christine Guilfoyle discusses the iterative process of creating the Scorecard, how it will fill the data gap, and how the resource will increase awareness and growth in women’s sports.
In 2020, the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) put a new media rights deal in place. Viewership rocketed up 476% and social media engagement rose 15%, including a 350% increase in male fans, compared to the year before.
In 2019, Budweiser became the official beer of the NWSL, and in the same year saw a 1,075% year-over-year increase in fans of women’s sports exhibiting behaviors directly correlating to Budweiser. Also, that year Visa became an official sponsor of the U.S. Women’s National Team (also soccer) and benefitted from a whopping 2,700% year-over-year increase in fans of women’s sports exhibiting behaviors directly correlating to Visa.
Clearly, there is progress being made in women’s sports, although arguably not enough, especially given how women are fans of sports programming. Women have overtaken men as pro sports’ biggest fans, now representing 52% of all who watch, listen, or stream. But the game is far from over.
Every SeeHer member will tell you that despite the obvious progress we are so rightly proud of, there’s so much more to do. We all agreed that what was needed was a tool to drive real change in organizations which commit to it, and benchmark progress.
Three years ago, we launched a task force of members, sports, and industry leaders to bring their expertise to the gender equality table. Creating a vertical workstream of focus around the representation and distribution of women’s sports programming was the goal.
Last week we launched the first resource, the SeeHer in Sports Scorecard Powered by AT&T. The telecom, a SeeHer member, utilized its vast resources and scale to spearhead the framework for this new resource based upon our SeeHer Gender Equality Measure®.
There are five versions, one each for brands, media, leagues, teams, and venues. Each includes a series of questions customized to that group’s particular constituents and is organized into three buckets: awareness, representation, and improvement.
For example, the brand Scorecard asks, “What percentage of your sports sponsorship budget goes to women’s sports?” For media, there’s a question on what percentage of the platform’s total sports programming is dedicated to women’s sports. And all five versions include the question “What percentage of improvements are you willing to commit to in the next five years?”
Fifty years of progress isn’t enough. We can’t let the Title IX anniversary dwindle in our rearview mirror and be forgotten. The Scorecard is truly a milestone for the industry to make progress to SeeHer in Sports.
The Scorecard is available on seeher.com