Women in Sport – We know our place

The latest figures from the Women’s Sport Trust show that just under a third of the UK population watched women’s sport in 2022. Whilst this might demonstrate significant growth compared to previous years (driven by interest and broadcast visibility of the FA Women’s Super League, Women’s Six Nations and the ICC Women’s World Cup) it’s not enough, and despite a growth in viewership, challenges remain. Whilst women in sport might be accepted, they are not always treated equally; as athletes and pundits, as officials and as fans, women in sport are subject to scrutiny and criticism not levelled at their male counterparts.

Despite the challenges they face across all aspects of Sport however, Women are standing up to adversity and succeeding, and as an organisation, the BBC has a long-standing commitment to women’s sport that has powered inclusion, growth and normalisation. As part of that commitment, in 2019, we launched Change the Game, a strategy defined by a spirit of progression which influenced marketing campaigns, content and editorial commissioning briefs. The rule is simple; celebrate the sport – not the gender – and this summer is another huge moment for women’s sport. With the Women’s Euros, Wimbledon, World and European Athletics Championships, Commonwealth Games and The Hundred, there will be more coverage of female athletes than ever before across the BBC.

Our latest campaign ‘We Know Our Place’ leans into that opportunity. It builds on the legacy of ‘Change the Game’, making a strategic shift from change to belonging. It’s a reassertion of the BBC’s commitment to provide a platform and champion a sense of belonging for women in sport. In 2019 we changed the game. Now we’re making ourselves at home.    

From young girls finding their calling to famous sports stars

‘We Know Our Place’ reframes a phrase that is so often used to suppress women and gives it a confident new meaning. Women in sport do know their place, it’s selling out Wembley; it’s on centre court; it’s on podiums; it’s breaking records; it’s on billboards and on millions of TV screens.

The launch film had it’s first outing during the Women’s and Men’s FA Cup finals on BBC One (which were broadcast over the same weekend for the first time) and centres on the passion, dedication and success of female athletes; from young girls finding their calling, to famous sports stars including Lucy Bronze, Emily Campbell and Nat Sciver. The film is the first part of an extensive marketing campaign running across the BBC’s linear TV channels, BBC iPlayer, radio, social media and Out-of-Home advertising this summer.

But it’s more than a line. The ambition of this marketing-led strategy is to create a season of content that elevates and celebrates women in sport, capitalising on a unique opportunity to drive equality, inclusion and fandom. The confidence of ‘We Know Our Place’ underpins the strategy for event specific campaigns, content and editorial commissioning briefs – all of which will work together to amplify the message: the struggle isn’t over, but we are over the struggle.

It’s time to celebrate fearless, bold, brilliant women

We have a bumper year of women’s sport on the BBC, it’s time to celebrate a generation of fearless, bold, brilliant women redefining ‘their place’ and bring audiences closer to the unmissable and unstoppable world of women’s sport.

Women at the top of their game deserve to be celebrated, and with more female leadership not just within sport itself,  but also organisations who have the ability to feature and promote them, we have an opportunity to ensure women’s interests and experiences are supported with the commitment they deserve.

About the author

Jane Lingham
Jane Lingham
Brand Director
BBC

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