AT&T, Amazon Prime Video Strike Women’s Sports Ad Deal Across WNBA, NWSL (EXCLUSIVE)

Amazon Prime Video isn’t waiting for the start of next week’s “upfront” to draw attention to women’s sports.

The streaming giant said it has struck a sponsorship deal with AT&T and its buying representative, Omnicom Group’s Optimum Sports, that will have the telecommunications perennial serve as the lead sponsor for 21 WNBA games shown on Prime Video, and the presenting sponsor of the halftime show that airs during the service’s National Women’s Soccer League matches. When Caitlin Clark’s home WNBA debut streams on May 16, Prime Video’s first regular-season game, AT&T will be the presenting sponsor of the pre-show, post-show and halftime coverage. Viewers will see the company’s logo during the basketball games, which will also have a “presenting” intro.

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“We are able to extend our commitment to women’s sports by teaming up with brands like AT&T that support meaningful storytelling around female athletes that connects to scaled audiences,” said Danielle Carney, head of live sports and video sales for Amazon Ads. “Amazon is proud to help those brands continue their impactful role in our culture, and guide new brands into the rise of women’s sports.”

With notable recent surges in viewership for WNBA games and women’s college basketball, Madison Avenue’s attention in sports with female competitors is increasing. Thanks to streaming, advertisers have fewer linear TV programs that draw the massive simultaneous audiences of the past. But live sports continue to prove durable, which has sparked interest in leagues and games that traditionally did not get as much attention.

GroupM, the large media-investment group that is part of WPP, has vowed to double the amount of money its clients spend on women’s sports in 2024 and said in March that it would seek to create a dedicated marketplace for the programming genre in the upfront. In that ad-sales marketplace, U.S. TV companies try to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory for their next cycle of new programming.

Amazon Prime Video has in recent months snatched up rights to women’s sports. In November, the company struck a pact with NWSL to stream 27 matches each season for a multi-year term. In April, Prime Video and the WNBA agreed to a two-year extension of their current rights contract

AT&T has more than doubled its media investment in women’s sports since 2022, and has supported the LPGA and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in the past. The marketer believes the fan base is growing and has research showing that audiences for women’s sports are twice as likely to recall advertisers who sponsor games.

“Women’s sports have been a defining pillar of our strategy for years. In order to continue the incredible growth we’ve seen in the last few years, we need new and willing partners that value the fans, athletes, teams and leagues as much as we do,” said Scott Klatskin, AVP of Media for AT&T. “Our new relationship with Amazon Prime not only elevates what we’re already doing in women’s basketball and soccer but allows us to be more collaborative on a shared ambition to grow women’s sports.”

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