The Women’s Football World Cup is on in Canada and the world’s best teams in namely the world’s most popular sport are in action. Yet, the overall hype and excitement is missing. Ask a football fan to name a couple of high-profile players playing in the women’s cup and most fans will struggle. We ask why? Why is it that a Messi, a Neymar or a Robin Van Persie is a household name while their #female counterparts are people unknown.
On an international level, barring tennis and maybe athletics, women’s sport isn’t half as popular or watched as Men’s sport. Maria Sharapova, the Williams Sisters, Michelle Wie, Stephane Rice, Danica Patrick, Yelena Isinbayeva have bucked the trend internationally but they are too few to change the global scenario.
Think about it, the men’s final is always a prime-time slot on Sunday, the women’s final having gotten out of the way before. Think rivalries, think drama and think records and the focus of the coverage is more on Men’s sport.
When it comes to India, many women sportspersons have certainly made the cut with fans and marketers. Tennis ace Sania Mirza, Badminton stars Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Boxer MC Marykom and Golfer Sharmila Nicollet are India’s top crowd pullers. They are not only poster girls for the sport but have inspired young girls to take to the sport. But notice one thing, not one of them belongs to a team sport!
This trend is not only an Indian one but is constant even on the international level. Women’s team sports need to buck up if they are to make heroes of their champions. And how do they do that? Well for starters, better marketing, better social media interaction and creating hype.