Momentum launches inaugural women who makes moves in sport summit.

With female athletes on the global stage at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the Netball World Cup in Cape Town, it has become more important than ever to shine a light on the challenges and discrepancies women sports stars still face.

Recent findings by Africa-focused sports research company Cash N Sport highlight that of the 90 major sponsorships announced in South Africa in 2022, only three were awarded to individual female athletes and two were allocated to a single sports event, the Netball World Cup – this despite the increase of viewership figures and turnout at games have continued to increase.

There are many avenues through which an athlete can earn an income, with one major area being brand sponsorships and endorsements. Women athletes can only compete at their best when they are supported – and when they have the tools to ensure their financial prosperity. To help empower athletes, this Women’s Month, Momentum recently, hosted its first Women Who Make Moves in Sports Summit. Exclusively for female athletes and key industry stakeholders, the summit provided attendees with invaluable knowledge on how to commercialize their brands, so they not only earn money now, but safeguard their financial future.

“Momentum prides itself on being an enabler of success,” says Nontokozo Madonsela, Chief Marketing Officer at Momentum Metropolitan.

“We understand that in order for women in sports to get more sponsors, they too need to play a hand in driving this process. It’s not only the responsibility of corporates or funders.”

At Momentum’s Women Who Made Moves in Sports Summit on August 8 and 9 August 2023, top female athletes from across the country were taught vital tools that will support them in leveraging their sporting talents to better position themselves for sponsorship opportunities. This assisted them in turning their sports stardom into a viable commercial enterprise, while learning how to best protect and grow their financial potential.

A pivotal part of the summit was the appearance of Harvard Business School Professor Anita Elberse, who traveled down from the United States to host a workshop with attendees, helping them commercialize their sporting talent through a series of interactive case studies. Prof Elberse has received worldwide recognition for drawing many famous athletes to her classes and has been hailed by The Wall Street Journal as taking the same “statistically rigorous approach to entertainment and cultural industries that sabermetricians do to baseball” in her scholarly research.

Some of the insightful topics for attendees included holistic advice for making the mental switch from athlete to brand from psychologist Dr Kristen van Heerden, while lawyer and soccer agent Karabo Tshabuse talked about negotiating and deciphering contracts. Sports strategist Nqobile Ndlovu provided insight into how the system of sports works. Branding experts were also to be on hand to illuminate issues such as presentation and leverage, including Silke Bucker, Senior Director of Coca-Cola Category Africa, and sports analyst and agent Jessica Nkomo. Chief Creative Officer at Retroviral Digital Communications, Mike Sharman, helped the athletes position themselves as prime sponsorship targets, with reputation, media and financial management experts giving further practical tools to set our women sports stars on the road to success.

“The summit will empower our female athletes to be all-round assets for themselves and their potential commercial partners,” concludes Madonsela. “It was important to us that we tap into the best-in-class, forward-thinking visionaries who will help our female athletes reach their full potential both in the game and in life, helping them on their journey to success.”

Momentum’s Women Who Make Moves in Sports Summit forms part of its #SheOwnsHerSuccess campaign. Throughout this Summit, Momentum celebrates female sports stars while inspiring the next generation of young girls.

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