Guinness demonstrates the growing commercial value of women’s sport with £15m sponsorship deal
Guinness has taken a giant stride in underlining the escalating worth of women's sports with its unprecedented £15 million per year sponsorship deal for the Women's Six Nations. This move comes on the heels of their pioneering sponsorship in 2019, solidifying the brand's commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion in sports.
The Women's Six Nations, formerly backed by TikTok, will now be rebranded as the "Guinness Women’s Six Nations," marking a historic moment for women's sports. Stephen O’Kelly, Diageo’s Global Brand Director for Guinness, encapsulated the brand's dedication:
"This new partnership will help support the skill and talent of the Women’s competition to surge forward towards a level playing field between the Men’s and Women’s game. It is our goal to ‘Never Settle’ until rugby is a place where everyone belongs, where we hold nothing back, and where we unite together in sport and life."
What this announcement underscores is twofold: Firstly, Guinness's substantial investment highlights the growing recognition and value that brands place on women's sports. Secondly, it signals a broader trend – the window of opportunity for brands in women's sports is shrinking. As women's sports witness a surge in attendance and exposure, more brands are entering the arena, driving up sponsorship prices.
Tom Harrison, CEO of Six Nations Rugby, acknowledged the significance, stating, "The Women’s game is the biggest growth engine for rugby, and through this partnership, Guinness will help accelerate this." This move by Guinness is not just a financial boost for women's rugby; it's a pivotal moment in affirming the sport's potential for growth, inclusivity, and equal recognition."
Guinness, as the title partner for both the Men's and Women's Six Nations, is at the forefront of shaping a new era for rugby. This groundbreaking sponsorship deal echoes the changing landscape of sports sponsorships, emphasizing the urgency for brands to seize opportunities in women's sports before the early adopter window closes.