On September 10, 2013, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural conference on the Economics in Women’s Sports, which took place in New York City, at the Times Square Marriot Marquis. The event was organized and spearheaded by Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal. The list of speakers included some big names on both the women and men’s side. Essentially, let’s put the summary in two parts: the event was about how most entities have probably not used ‘Big Data,’ on evaluating women as true fans of sports; the second is about how can women sports capture more financial backing. Both ideas speak to the responsibilities and economics relating to players, coaches, administrators or owners, sponsors, and other primary and secondary stakeholders in the equation.
There were plenty of varying opinions, and not just from the speakers; but among those as attendees. An expansion includes: 1.) what is the participation of women as fans of women sports, and wherever it is, what growth, if any, can or should be realized as we proceed into the future; 2.) sponsorships are at its best in win-win-scenarios; and so, how do women sporting events and teams, not commanding large TV viewership and attendance, gain such support, aim for a differing model of consideration, while moving toward parity with men’s sports; and 3) on the question of ‘Big Data,’ though implied and not said, why have so many leaders, in the advertising market and major producers of goods and services, not shown women as true sports’ fans, whether of NFL Football, Major League Baseball, and so forth? And among the reasoning hinted at: old ways of thinking and stereotypical biases.
Another salient point to extrapolate, from this conference, is that sports for women, as participants, and the buying power of women, as sporting fans, have growth potential. The question is whether entities wait until that realization, which in length of time is unknown, or take a risk and jump in now? Either perspective makes for a good case study; yet, it better reflects economic opportunity for established companies and entrepreneurs. Keep in mind a remark made at the event: ‘a sporting contest is one of those happenings you rather see unfold live; the type experience you might not want to watch thru TIVO once the final result is known. This applies to either sex in sports.
Consequently, we are left with a key underlying theme: how can one monetize women’s sports, while maintaining an umbrella of perceived positivity about the conduct and application of those involved?
Please note, as soon as I receive official photos from Sports' Business Journal Group, I will add them.