'Women's sport making 'significant' strides in popularity'

Women's soccer is making enormous strides in sponsorship and popularity worldwide, according to a new FIFA benchmarking report that analyzed 294 clubs across 30 leagues.

Clubs included in the report saw year-over-year commercial revenue growth of 33% and "strong growth" in merchandise sales, while more than three-quarters of leagues surveyed had a title sponsor in 2022, compared to 66% a year ago.

"The data in this year’s report underscores that organisations that are prepared to invest in women’s football are receiving a return," Sarai Bareman, FIFA's chief women's football officer, said in a statement.

"We expect this will only increase as more clubs and leagues, as well as broadcasters and partners, truly recognise the unique growth opportunity that exists in women’s football."

She added FIFA had seen "significant developments and milestones" in the women's sport since launching its women's football strategy four years ago.

With the 2023 women's World Cup less than nine months away, FIFA has everything to gain from the growing popularity in the women's sport.

The body's Chief Business Officer Romy Gai said last week it had rejected a number of bids for the quadrennial's broadcasting rights for being too low, after a 2019 report showed that 1.12 billion viewers tuned into the last tournament. The 2023 World Cup begins in July in Australia and New Zealand.

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