Business and sporting luminaries attending last week’s ‘#BeAGameChanger’ Awards, which celebrated the success of female role models in sport, were the first to hear of the newly-launched Y-Sport.
Y-Sport is a new sports management and sponsorship consultancy, focused solely on the strategic and commercial development of women’s sport, and the awards were the perfect opportunity for the company to introduce themselves to the industry. Among other illustrious speakers at the event, Clare Balding delivered a keynote speech about the achievements of female athletes and the importance of increasing sponsorship monies in women’s sport.
Continued funding from sponsors is key, and the ‘#BeAGameChanger’ Awards audience of senior business leaders from companies such as Microsoft, Investec, Newton, Kia Motors, KPMG and Lloyds heard from iconic athletes including Lizzy Yarnold, Christine Ohuruogu and Nicole Cooke about how their input is helping drive this continued change.
Sport is one of the most public arenas society has to demonstrate that organisations perform better when women and girls are able to fully play a role, and it has the potential to drive a change in perceptions and actions. According to data from Credit Suisse, companies with at least one female board member outperform all-male boards by 26% globally. Not only this, McKinsey studies suggest that the most diverse companies have on average an operating profitability 14% higher than the least. Companies that choose to invest in women’s sport are sending a clear message about their brand and their people. Both business and government are committing huge resource to this area but there is an ever-increasing need for more - so that both girls’ and women’s sport can thrive.
Sally Horrox, founder of Y-Sport, said: “High performing organisations in business and sport set themselves apart by paying close attention to their talent, markets, brand, risk management and reputation. These are business fundamentals, not fringe concerns, and each one is directly affected by gender diversity and inclusion – or the lack of it.
“Y-Sport will connect forward-thinking and innovative businesses with women’s sport and individual sportswomen. With compelling role models, great events, positive media coverage and audience growth it’s an exciting time for women’s sport. We will help it fulfil its commercial potential. Recent and direct involvement in the professional development of women’s football and netball – the two largest team sports – convinced us of the potential size of the opportunity and provided valuable insights that will benefit women’s sport across the board.”
Jo Bostock, Women’s Sport Trust co-founder, concluded: “It is increasingly clear that there is unstoppable momentum behind the development of women’s sport. The playing fields are starting to level, and the Women’s Sport Trust is committed to maximising the positive financial impact of this progress. Sponsors and the sponsored will both benefit from this change, and we look forward to continuing to make a difference, at all levels of sport.”
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