gsport receives many requests for assistance of
one form or another from our readers, and we’re glad to have been able to help
on the odd occasion. But the one burning issue which painfully goes unsatisfied,
is that of requests for sponsorship of women’s sports athletes and events, and
gsport is about to make a difference!
As we read in
this month’s focus on the Provincial Women’s Soccer League , the men’s
professional game is seeing billions, literally billions, of Rand
pour in, while the girls languish outside with limited support.
Outside of the
most popular sports, the rare instance of a woman athlete being financially
rewarded is where she is able to demonstrate an unstoppable international
career, probably best illustrated by Ashleigh Simon right now, and quite
honestly, there are precious few in her league.
Time and again we
hear that the women’s game holds virtually nothing of interest for the
sponsors, and that is the conclusive reason why the disparity in gender-distinguished
rewards in sport will forever remain, as some insist it should.
But a different light
is creeping around the world, with women’s international tennis leading the way
in demonstrating that sponsorship value in women’s sporting event is on the up,
and where male and female recipients of winner’s pay-cheques are increasingly of
an equivalent amount.
television coverage of the Hockey and Soccer World Cups is the thin edge of the
wedge, and the discerning sponsor is practically guaranteed to find a
destination for its sponsor dollars with high-visibility coverage providing
In South Africa, the
rising interest of the Spar group in women’s sport is no thoughtless aberration;
we believe its keenly-considered business interests are pivotal in the decision
to make the biggest domestic investments into women’s sports brands, with
notable contributions to running, netball and hockey.
But while it’s
the big numbers that make the most noise, it’s often regular small
contributions which keep the show on the road. Some provincial women’s soccer
teams forfeit matches because they don’t have R50 each to cover the transport to
money’s not going to flood in unless the sponsorship prospects are as appealing
as possible. To be able to pull the interest of a sponsor, a team or athlete is
going to have to present a compelling case.
Which is where
the gsport’s next major innovation comes in: Debuting November this year,
gsport will publish an online Sponsor Exchange facility at the website, aimed
at providing a convenient meeting place for athletes needing financial support,
and companies looking for community-building visibility.
available to gsport members, the Sponsor Exchange will be the place for
athletes and teams to highlight their sporting achievements, future potential
and financial needs, and where potential sponsors will be able to do their
homework, to find the best fit for its sponsorship resources.
The process is
simple: If you are a gsport member, and you are interested in obtaining
sponsorship for yourself (being a woman athlete of any nature) of for your team
(a women’s sports team), please send an email to [email protected], and we will
respond to you by 7 October with a document setting out exactly what
information we need from you, and what to expect