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WTA embraces The Fan Project, touts engagement, value
Published May 01, 2021
Numbers don't lie. Data points are concrete.
Holistically, women's sports are peaking in some rather precise ways, catalyzed by their respective fandoms—and The Fan Project is here to tell you plenty about it.
Predicated on the position statement that women athletes garner substantial engagement among sports fans, The Fan Project takes a social media data–based approach to analyzing various leagues and sports—think the WTA Tour, and the WNBA, LPGA, UFC, and many similar (and dissimilar) organizations—and distills that information to tell a quantitative story.
The Fan Project aims to show that women's sports, across the board, "don't receive enough media coverage, investment, or sponsorship dollars."
Self-defined as "dedicated to creating equality and opportunity in sports," The Fan Project anonymously gathers, cross-tabulates, and reports on its data points, steeped in social media engagement statistics such as likes, comments, reshares, and other actions and factors.
The WTA's leadership threw their proverbial hat into this stat-happy ring in the past week or so, joining nearly 30 other partners, all sports leagues and organizing bodies, in pursuit of better. Notably, the USTA is also a partner in this work.
The measurable goals would enhance visibility and improve the general equalizing of the "playing field" in terms of collective marketing power and individual-athlete marketability.
Ambassadors for The Fan Project include gymnastics champion Laurie Hernandez and soccer star Abby Wambach, as well as male athletes including basketball pro Pau Gasol and NFL quarterback Andy Dalton. To date, no WTA player has signed on as an official ambassador, though that's certainly prone to change in coming weeks and months.
On a page promoting its WTA collaboration, The Fan Project notes that promoting women's sports is not "more than the right thing to do—it's a savvy business decision." The likeness of WTA star Naomi Osaka, the world's top-earning female athlete, is used in the project's branding.
Stay tuned for the WTA's next bold move as part of this consortium.