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Alana CasnerMay 16, 2024 at 12:06 PM7 min read

Largest Global Study of its Kind Reveals Women’s Sports Fandom is Moving From “A Moment” to Mainstream

Largest Global Study of its Kind Reveals Women’s Sports Fandom is Moving From “A Moment” to Mainstream

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Source: Parity


SurveyMonkey and Parity find the fandom gap is closing around the world, but women athletes still face a long road to equality.


SAN MATEO, Calif., May 16, 2024 – SurveyMonkey, a global leader in online surveys and forms, and Parity, the sports marketing and sponsorship platform dedicated to closing the gender income and opportunity gap in professional sports, today announced the findings of the largest global survey ever conducted to gain insights about fan engagement and equity in women’s sports. Leveraging extensive anonymized and aggregated SurveyMonkey data from more than 14,000 adults over 18 in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK, researchers identified key trends in how people view, consume, and engage with women’s sports today.


Key findings of the study, titled From Moment to Mainstream: What Consumers in 7 Countries Really Think About Sports,” include:


Women’s sports are gaining momentum among fans and more men watch women’s sports frequently.

  • A quarter to a third of women’s sports fans are watching more women’s sports this year compared with last year. In the UK (36%), Australia (34%), and Spain (32%), one in three women’s sports fans are watching more women’s sports this year, higher than in the US (27%), Canada (29%), Germany (23%), and France (24%). 
  • 23% of men watch women’s sports daily or weekly, compared to 15% of women, silencing assumptions that women’s sports fans are primarily women. Added to this, 30% of men around the world are watching more women’s sports in 2024 compared to 2023.


Women athletes hold significantly more sway than other types of influencers.

  • The vast majority of respondents (88%) agree that professional women athletes are “somewhat” or “highly” impactful role models for young women.
  • Respondents who watch women’s sports daily or weekly are 3.5x more likely to buy a product promoted by a woman athlete than another type of influencer. Respondents overall are more than twice as likely to buy a product promoted by a woman athlete over another influencer.


The global majority agree that women athletes are being shortchanged and want more brand investment in women athletes

  • Equity in women’s sports still has a long way to go. Half or more in each country believe that brands are not investing enough in women’s sports compared with men’s sports: 50% in the US, 50% in the UK, 51% in Australia, 56% in Canada, 53% in Germany, 59% in Spain, and 66% in France.
  • Instagram is the top platform for following individual women athletes across all countries, followed by Facebook and YouTube. Australians (42%) are the most likely to follow women’s sports accounts on social media, followed by the US (38%), UK (36%), Canada (39%), Germany (30%), Spain (34%), and France (26%).


Women’s soccer and tennis are the most popular worldwide except in the US, where basketball dominates

  • Soccer and tennis are the most-watched women’s sports internationally in all countries surveyed.
  • The US (56%) is the exception, where basketball is by far the most watched sporting event, compared to 25% or less viewership in all other countries. This comes on the heels of a monumental year for NCAA women’s basketball and the start of the WNBA season.


Despite a growing interest in women’s sports, accessibility remains a barrier—especially for women

  • Time is the main barrier that prevents fans from watching women’s sports: 43% in Germany, 41% in the UK, 40% in Spain, 40% in the US, 39% in Australia, 39% in Canada, and 35% in France.
  • Globally, women are overall more likely than men to report lacking sufficient time to watch women’s sports (42% vs. 39%).
  • More than double 18–34-year-olds compared to 65+ cite “too expensive” (7%/3%) as a barrier to viewing—showing an increase of interest among generations but a lack of accessibility. Women and gender non-confirming respondents are also slightly more likely than men to say the cost of watching women’s sports is a barrier.


Paris 2024 will set a key gender equity milestone—and most people have no idea

  • Most adults plan to watch the Olympics and/or Paralympics this summer, but fewer than a fifth know that these will be the first Games in history to feature an equal number of men and women athletes—except for France (25%) where the games will take place. From least knowledgeable to most: 14% in Germany, 15% in the US, 16% in Spain, 17% in Canada, 18% in the UK, and 20% in Australia.
  • Despite this lack of awareness, a vast majority think it is very or somewhat important that the Olympic games feature equal representation: 87% in the UK, 85% in the US, 85% in Canada, 84% in Australia, 83% in Spain, 81% in France and74% in Germany.


“Women’s sports is experiencing a surge of attention right now, but there's still an abundance of pressing questions about the pervasiveness of women’s sports fandom in 2024," says Leela Srinivasan, CEO of Parity. “In collaboration with SurveyMonkey, we embarked on a groundbreaking international survey to reaffirm what those of us committed to leveling the playing field have been witnessing for some time: women's sports are no longer just a 'moment' but a powerful mainstream force. The fandom gap is narrowing, signaling a seismic change in attitudes towards women's sports. While there is much to celebrate, our findings also shed light on the enduring challenges faced by women athletes on the path to true parity.”


“By partnering with Parity on one of the largest women’s sports research projects conducted to date, we uncovered key drivers for the spike in popularity of women’s sports that we’re all witnessing in mainstream media and on our TVs,” said Lara Belonogoff, senior director of brand management and research at SurveyMonkey. “The insights we collected can empower people and businesses to make decisions quickly and confidently to help further close the fracture in fandom between the growing demand for women’s sports and the current reality of investment in them.”


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This SurveyMonkey poll was conducted March 28 - April 10, 2024, among a national sample of 5,408 U.S., 1,972 UK, 1,251 Australian, 1,743 Canadian, 1,290 German, 1,193 Spanish, and 1,517 French adults 18+. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on our platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 2.0 percentage points in the U.S., 2.5 percentage points in the UK and Canada, 3.0 percentage points in Germany and France, and 3.5 percentage points in Australia and Spain. U.S. data were weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. Data in the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, and France were weighted for age and sex using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to reflect the demographic composition of those countries.


About SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is a global leader in online surveys and forms that empowers people with the insights they need to make decisions with speed and confidence. Our fast, intuitive feedback management platform connects millions of users worldwide with real-time AI-powered insights that drive meaningful decisions. We provide answers to more than 20 million questions every day so that people and organizations can attract new audiences, delight customers, create advocates, and extend their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Our vision is to raise the bar for human experiences by amplifying individual voices. Learn more at


About Parity

Minority-founded in 2020, Parity is a sports marketing and sponsorship platform dedicated to closing the gender income and opportunity gap in professional sports. By developing high-impact collaborations between brands, professional women athletes and their fans, Parity has proudly put millions in the pockets of women athletes, attracting dozens of brands – from Microsoft to Morgan Stanley – to the movement in the process. The platform offers connections to more than 1,000 women athletes from 80+ sports, including over 250 Olympians and Paralympians. For more information on how to tap into the rapidly rising influence and popularity of women athletes, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Threads.  


Alana Casner

Alana Casner works at Parity as Vice President of Content & Strategy. Her background includes 15 years of content creation and digital partnership experience. Prior to joining Parity in 2021, she served as Director of Creative Strategy at The Players' Tribune, a role in which she focused on cornerstone activism initiatives like women in sport, LGBTQIA+, mental health and more. As a multi-sport collegiate athlete while at Pomona College, she competed as starting point guard and also in Track and Field.