Although prize money can be an indicator of the health and progressiveness of a sport of even greater importance is building a sustainable system of investment, development, media coverage and long-term partnerships. If you get the plumbing right you have a great product on the pitch / court etc, you can then attract audiences, brands and a virtuous cycle is created.
The announcement of the Barclays FA WSL sponsorship deal this week is an example of this – it has grassroots to elite investment and a significant prize pot. Is it as much as the Premier League? – no. And we’re not sure that’s even the most useful question. Is it a substantial amount, will it raise the game and is it self-sustaining are perhaps more pertinent.
The Women’s Sport Trust wants women’s sport to be visible, viable and unstoppable. Prize money is part of that equation but not the whole story. We expect prize money to rise in line with the heath and profile of women’s sport – and we will call it out if that is not happening.