Canadian women's sports teams and players are raking in medals and investors could be earning money, a new report shows.

The Canadian Women in Sport report, published April 23, says the professional women's sport market is worth $150 to $200 million and is "significantly underdeveloped."

A key way to develop the market, the report says, is for businesses to invest in women's sports teams by providing more ways to connect with athletes. This can be done through ticket sales or memorabilia.

"What we found in the research is that fans of women's professional sport are young, they're diverse," Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO of Canadian Women & Sport, a non-profit organization focusing on female empowerment in sports, told CTV's Your Morning on Monday. "This is a fantastic opportunity for all kinds of investors to connect with these fans and to use that as an opportunity to drive economic value, as well as social value here in Canada."

Around the world, women's professional sports leagues have been attracting more fans in recent years. For example, the Women’s NBA (WNBA) has seen a 90 per cent increase in average regular season viewership from 2020 to 2022, and the Women’s Super League, a U.K. soccer league, has seen a 500 per cent growth in average match viewership from 2020 to 2021, according to the report.

Early investments are being made by some Canadian companies but the report says there are further "breakthrough opportunities” as fandom rises.

"Engagement is key," Sandmeyer-Graves said. "Really having multifaceted opportunities for fans to connect, really embracing the appeal of these athletes, who are great role models who are so authentic."

Currently, the women's sports market in Canada is dominated by stand-alone events, the report reads. About 40 per cent of the market steams from sponsorship and broadcasting of women in the Olympics.

Sandmeyer-Graves believes investors who understand women's sports and are hoping to bring an international approach are good building blocks for the industry.


To hear more about the investment potential of women's sport in Canada, click the video at the top of this article.