Women’s Sports: A Covid-19 victim

When the sports world came to a halt in March of 2020, women’s sports were on the rise across the globe. No one could have foreseen the devastating impact that the CoronaVirus pandemic would have on the sports world; especially on women’s sports.

Until Corona came along, women’s sports were recording record viewership numbers and big investments were being made. A recent report by The Nielsen Company revealed that 66% of the world’s population is interested in women’s sport and from general sports fans, 84% are interested in women’s sports. The old school argument, that “no one watches women’s sports, that’s why it is not as successful as male sports” no longer holds its ground. In recent years, women’s football has seen record attendances and viewership figures across the globe. Just in November 77,768 football fans watched England play against Germany at Wembley Stadium – a home record crowd.

However, when the Corona Pandemic put the sports world on halt, the success of women’s sport was also stopped. Many women had to fight hard to be in the position as an athlete as they are. Judgement, lack of support and financial matters often mean that women have to fight hard to be given the opportunity as an athlete than their male counterparts. Those preparing to compete at the Olympics and other competitions have now had that taken away from them. Corona has had an immense impact on the sports world, but it has had a greater negative impact on women’s sports. Traditionally, women’s sports do not have the same amounts as money as male sports and subsequently, female athletes earn less and some even live pay-check to pay-check. When female athletes cannot compete and earn money, they begin to experience financial difficulties, something top male athletes will never have to experience.

In the football industry for instance sponsorship, something of high importance to the women’s game, may begin to reduce as a result of the crisis. With the lack of fans in stadiums and physical audiences, sponsorship may no longer be an attractive investment for many companies. On top of that, many companies may no longer be able to afford sponsorship, as they themselves had been hit hard by the crisis. This negative impact can be attributed to all sports, not just football.

Another area of impact is the media coverage of women’s sports. Even before the Corona Virus crisis, female athletes were extremely underrepresented in the sports media, with a mere 4% according to UNESCO. The positive trends of women’s sports gaining more media attention may be eroded as sports competitions begin to be broadcast again, due to the clashing of the many sports events that were previously cancelled. Women’s sports will likely be side-lined by the media who will cover the return of men’s sports instead. This again may have a negative impact on sponsorship opportunities for women’s sports as the exposure that sponsors seek will not be given.

However, it is not just the professional side of women’s sport that is suffering. For many girls