Deloitte forecasted that women’s elite sports will generate global revenues of $1.28 billion in 2024, the first time that annual global revenues for women’s sports will have surpassed $1 billion.

The total is at least 300 percent higher than Deloitte’s previous valuation three years ago.

Deloitte’s forecast is based on three main categories of revenue for women’s sports: Matchday, Broadcast and Commercial.

Commercial revenue, which includes club sponsorships, partnerships, and merchandising sales, represents the largest share of total revenue ($696 million, 55 percent) followed by Broadcast ($340 million, 27 percent) and Matchday ($240 million, 18 percent) revenues.

The two most valuable women’s sports Deloitte projected to be soccer ($555 million, 43 percent) and basketball ($354 million, 28 percent), while the largest geographical markets in 2024 Deloitte forecasted to be North America ($670 million, 52 percent) and Europe ($181 million, 14 percent).

Jennifer Haskel, insights lead for Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said, “Over the last few years, we have seen exceptional growth in women’s sport across the globe, driving a significant uplift in its commercial value, which in turn has led to growing interest from investors. Crucially, women’s sport is increasingly being viewed as a unique product that is becoming ever more distinct from men’s elite sport.

“This surge in fan and investor engagement is leading to new and improved opportunities for clubs and leagues, including greater commercial partnerships, increased participation and bigger matchdays. In order to ensure this growth remains consistent and sustainable, sports organizations must ensure that investment is directed to the right places, such as encouraging fan loyalty, player welfare and maintaining competition across leagues.”

Deloitte expects valuations for teams and leagues to continue to rise, with several teams’ values predicted to exceed $100 million in 2024.

Meanwhile, major events and global competitions such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Women’s Tennis Association tour are expected to contribute $425 million – 33 percent of the forecasted total.

In turn, Deloitte expects that 2024 women’s elite sports will continue to be allocated additional prime-time broadcast slots, making it easier to find and watch.

Paul Lee, global head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte, added, “Women’s sport is on an impressive growth trajectory. However, broadcasters, streamers and social media platforms will have an important role to play in showcasing major events that capture the interest of new and existing fans, while creating an experience that is memorable and impactful.

“The next step will be maintaining habitual viewers who loyally tune in to watch their favorite players, teams and competitions across the season. To do this, sports organizations and media businesses will need to continue to elevate the profile of women’s sports with prime-time broadcasts, as well as investing in digital platforms that make games accessible to all those who want to watch,” said Lee.

Photo courtesy UCLA Athletics