Leeds Rhinos Women will be hoping they can win the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup in front of a national BBC audience this Saturday at Elland Road and that increased exposure for the women’s game is now resulting in significant investment in the sport.
Leeds Rhinos are aiming to win the trophy they held in 2018 and 2019 when they take on holders St Helens on Saturday afternoon. The game is part of a triple header of Rugby League action on the BBC and is followed by both mens semi-finals.
Ahead of the game, Leeds Rhinos have unveiled Boardrm as the women’s teams new principal partner to feature on the front of their shirts. Boardrm are the fastest-growing recruitment and career advancement online platform. They were founded in 2017 by professionals who understand how technology and online resources can benefit employers and job-applicants alike. The distinctive branded will be on the front of the shirts for the game live on the BBC this Saturday.
The opportunity to see live women’s sport has seen a huge growth in interest. This week leading women’s sports charity, the Women’s Sport Trust (WST) revealed that the first quarter of 2022 is the most watched first quarter for women’s sport on record in the UK.
15.1 million watched 3 minutes or more of women’s sport coverage in between January and March, in comparison to 5.06m in 2021 and a previous peak of 10.2 million in 2019.
The Women’s Sport Trust has actively monitored the UK’s consumption of women’s sport, men’s sport and mixed sport since publishing Closing the Visibility Gap – the most comprehensive study ever produced into the commercial drivers of women’s sport – at the start of last year. Current research details how the media exposure and consumption of women’s sport is changing.
The research also confirms that women’s sport is not only increasing the quantity of viewers, but also that they are tuning in for longer, with the average viewing time per person across all women’s programming being 122 minutes in comparison to 68 minutes at this stage of 2021.
Leeds Rhinos Commercial Director Rob Oates commented, “We are delighted to welcome Boardrm as one of our partners for the Womens team. They join a fantastic group of record breaking partnerships which includes NIC FM Services, First Bus Leeds, SMR Architects, Age Partnership and Bartercard who have given tremendous support to Womens Rugby League. By investing in Leeds Rhinos Women, it allows us to grow our development programme and support the team in the best possible manner. The increased profile of Womens sport is fantastic news and we are grateful for the support that the BBC and Sky Sports, in particular, have given the Women’s Super League and Challenge Cup competitions.”
Phill Birch, Boardrm Founder and Managing Director, added, “It has been a natural progression, in our support of Leeds Rhinos, to include Leeds Rhinos Women and we are proud to be associated with such a prestigious brand. This underpins our values to be totally inclusive and we look forward to a long association with the team.”