NWSL taps Octagon for media rights and sponsorship consultancy

NWSL taps Octagon for media rights and sponsorship consultancy
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has announced a multi-year media rights consulting and marketing strategy partnership with international sports agency Octagon.

The deal will see Octagon’s global media rights consulting and marketing divisions advise the North American women’s soccer league on its media rights, sponsorship and marketing.

A key aspect of the tie-up will see Octagon help the NWSL value its media rights, provide sales strategy services, and work directly with the league’s executives to help secure and amplify new distribution opportunities both domestically and internationally.

The NWSL currently has a domestic and international broadcast deal with cable sports channel ESPN until the end of the 2019 season, but has struggled to secure a regular home for its coverage in recent times. Before the deal with ESPN, for example, the NWSL had been without a traditional broadcast partner in the US after ending its deal with A+E Networks a year early.

“The NWSL is the best women’s soccer league in the world,” said Daniel Cohen, senior vice president of global media rights consulting at Octagon. “The league delivers the biggest stars from the US and around the globe, at the peak of their careers, and as such deserves its place amongst the world’s most prominent sports leagues that are broadcast today.”

The partnership with Octagon will also see the agency’s marketing division support the league with brand marketing, asset development, sponsorship valuation and fan engagement insights in order to help generate increases in reach and revenue for the league and its teams.

“Coming out of the World Cup, women’s soccer has never been more popular, and the players of the NWSL have the star power to transcend sports,” added Christine Franklin, senior vice president of marketing at Octagon. “We are delighted to be working with the NWSL to further enhance the exclusive opportunities in place for the league’s existing sponsors and marketing partners, as well as develop new efforts that attract additional brands and fans for many years to come.”

The deal comes at a time when the popularity of the NWSL is on the rise on the back of the United States women’s national team’s second consecutive win at the Fifa Women’s World Cup. The league has broken several attendance records in the months after the tournament, while it has also agreed a new sponsorship deal with beer brand Budweiser and renewed its apparel partnership with sportswear giant Nike.

“We are excited to work with Octagon to further amplify exposure of our league and teams, and our world-class players,” said NWSL president Amanda Duffy. “Octagon is a worldwide leader in sports media and marketing, and has a proven track record for helping brands reach new audiences. We’re looking forward to working with them to build on the growth the NWSL has had, and bring our games to new audiences around the world.”

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