Megan Rapinoe stars in campaign by VaynerMedia as the NWSL sponsors want to keep the support for women’s soccer going beyond the World Cup
This summer, women’s football saw a massive boost in popularity thanks to the World Cup tournament in France. In the US – not traditionally known as a soccer-loving nation – the winning team, led by Megan Rapinoe, became stars.
But the key to growing women’s football lies in building consistent support during the regular season of competition. To achieve that needs viewers and money. That’s why Budweiser, sponsors of the NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League), is encouraging other brands to join in their support.
“When the USWNT returned from France, the next step was making sure fans continued to support women’s soccer on a year-round basis. And they answered our rally cry by supporting the NWSL with both record attendance and viewership this year,” said Monica Rustgi, Vice President of Marketing for Budweiser. “Now, with the “Future Official Sponsor” campaign, we turn to other brands and encourage them to support the league like passionate fans.”
To launch and drive awareness, a new short film - “It’s Worth Watching” - will air during Sunday’s matchup on ESPN. The spot, featuring a voice-over by NWSL star Megan Rapinoe, is directed to brands, calling on them to become official sponsors because “the more support the league gets, the more the world will watch. The more the world watches, the closer we get to an equal playing field.”
The campaign has been devised and produced by VaynerMedia, and builds on this summer’s #WontStopWatching movement. The objective of that was to raise the volume on the league and its players during the regular season and not just high profile competition moments like the World Cup.
This time, Budweiser are building on growing enthusiasm and passion among supporters to show brands that the sport is worth investing in.
In order to push uncertain CMOs over the edge, they’ve built incentives into the campaign. “Future Official” campaign gives fans the power to pre-order future official products of the NWSL even before a sponsor signs on. The Future Official e-commerce site and print, online and video ads starring Megan Rapinoe will facilitate pre-ordering of “Future Official” products from a wide range of available sponsor categories.
The whole initiative, which sees the NWSL and Anheuser-Busch’s sports marketing team collaborate to leverage their combined connections, expertise and reach to encourage other brands to get on board, is being touted by the brand as ‘unprecedented’.