In 1970, Billie Jean King began the fight for equal pay in tennis when she made 5x less than her male counterpart for winning the Grand Slam.

“Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs, and I want women to have the cake, the icing,

and the cherry

on top, too.”

Billie Jean King

50 years after Billie Jean King’s battle, why does this pay gap still exist?

This year, only two women cracked Forbes’ list of

top 50 highest paid athletes.


Compared to

men, women in

sports only see

7% of the




Some organizations cite a lack of

commercial success and revenue

generated by women's sports.

But let’s talk numbers:

% of sports fans interested in women’s sports.

% of sports media coverage for women’s sports.


Only 4%


That’s a pretty

big demand

and supply


Women’s Team

Our data tells the same story. People are searching for women’s sports — sometimes even more than men’s.

Men’s Team

Over the past five years, average weekly searches for “women’s team” are

50% higher than

“men’s team”.

Women in sports

Our data tells the same story. People are searching for women’s sports — sometimes even more than men’s.

Men in sports

And searches for

“women in sports” were

80% higher than searches

for “men in sports” in the

past 12 months.

So why aren’t

brands doing

more to

meet this


and shine a spotlight on women’s stories in sports?

It’s clear that people

are interested in

female athletes.

Sponsorship can

elevate women and

advance financial

equality in sports.

But cash can be dangerous

without care. From

punitive reduction clauses

to pregnancy policies,

sponsors don’t always put

their athletes first.


Almost half (41%)

of female athletes

surveyed said

their incomes

decreased when

they became



As a founding

sponsor of the

Australian Football

League Women’s


continues to

support the growth

of female athletes.

Special K

In 2019, the brand launched

its #RiseWithUs campaign.

This mouthguard rebate

and discount program

breaks down barriers by

minimizing participation

costs for young girls.

People connect with

sportswomen who are

relatable and inspiring.

In 2021, Simone Biles

and Naomi Osaka made

headlines when they openly

discussed their struggles

with mental health.


are hungry

to see

women in



But it’s not all

about the gold and glory.

By sharing these

stories, you can use

your platform to raise

awareness and reach

wider audiences.

In 2020, hosted

a “priceless” conversation between Billie Jean King and Naomi Osaka to discuss their inspirations and thoughts on social issues. Without mentioning its products, Mastercard supported the two women as people, not just athletes.


Amplifying female voices in women’s sports has immense potential value for brands. — not just financially, but also in terms of what it signals for gender equality.

And studies have shown

that as more people

count on brands to match

up to their personal

beliefs, they’re also

more likely to reward

these brands with loyalty.

Your brand has

the power to make

that happen.

There’s a woman on the court, at the track, or in the pool. Her triumphs might not be on the front page, but people all over the world are searching for her stories.

Let’s lift her up




Jess Duarte and Brand Studio APAC

Brand Studio APAC


Design & Animation



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