Major appetite for WPL
India’s inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) cricket tournament has generated a staggering amount of investment in women’s sports before play has even begun.
has raked in almost $700m from media rights
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has raked in almost $700m from media rights for the WPL’s first five seasons and franchise sales. The investment pushes the WPL just behind professional US women’s basketball as the second most valuable domestic women’s sports competition in the world.
Thayer Lavielle, from the women-oriented arm of US sports marketing agency Wasserman, sees this as additional confirmation that “women’s sports is the next economy for sport.”
Tide changes for women’s cricket
The BCCI is betting big on the WPL, and women’s sports are attracting higher levels of viewership, media coverage, television rights, and sponsorships globally.
BCCI honorary secretary Jay Shah took to Twitter on Tuesday with video animation of the breakthrough year for Indian woman’s cricket:
The WPL contracts for the top women cricketers are significant. India’s opening batter Smriti Mandhana is pocketing $410,000 for her services, while all-rounders Ash Gardner of Australia and Nat Sciver-Brunt of England tied for the highest overseas player’s contract at $387,000.
AFP cited Deloitte Sports Business Group’s James Savage as saying the WPL numbers represented “an unprecedented amount of investment into the women’s game.”
James links the cash flood to the “huge growth potential” of women’s cricket.
New career path
With the emergence of a financial path, the WPL is building participation and encouraging young girls and their parents to see the sport as offering a career with lucrative rewards and the same amount of pay as their male cricketing contemporaries.
Despite the record-breaking UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, the disparity between the salaries of male and female soccer players, nevertheless, continues.
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