How Gambling Companies Market to Female Users and Impact Women’s Sports

People watch women’s sports. We can’t stop talking about Caitlin Clark, Sophia Smith, and Simone Biles. All becoming household names and topics of conversation on TV and in everyday exchanges.

According to ESPN, the NCAA Women’s Championship, featuring the University of Iowa and the University of South Carolina, set a record of 18.7 million viewers, and the WNBA Draft had 2.45 million viewers. So, what has contributed to the recent spotlight on women athletes and leagues? Sportsbooks like FanDuel and DraftKings have prioritized marketing to female fans and promoting women’s sports. 

Jennifer Matthews, Vice President of Brand Strategy at FanDuel, told Gaming Today that female users were prioritized when creating an inclusive gambling environment.

“We market to sports fans, and women are sports fans. It’s important we focus on reaching fans in the sports ecosystem that they’re already a part of, and when we do reach them, we need to create an inclusive environment on our platform that makes it easy for anyone to bet for the first time.”

FanDuel has also taken strides in engaging with women’s sports leagues and organizations, including becoming an official partner of the WNBA. The first-of-its-kind partnership resulted in the WNBA handle doubling between the 2022 and 2023 seasons. 

Matthews explains they will continue this involvement with the upcoming WNBA season, leaning into the attention surrounding Caitlin Clark. “We’re offering several specials in a dedicated Caitlin Clark tab on our sportsbook, including markets for things like, ‘Clark To Record 10+ Made Threes In Any 2024 WNBA Regular Season Game,’” Matthews says.

During the Iowa v. South Carolina women’s March Madness National Championship game, FanDuel Sportsbook saw the biggest women’s single betting event on the platform. This included a 205% increase in bet count and a 155% increase in total handle over the 2023 National Championship.

This increase in betting on women’s sports can be attributed to FanDuel’s different marketing strategies implemented in recent campaigns. This includes promoting International Women’s Day 2024 with their own celebration of female athletes through the “Women’s Day of Winning” hub on the FanDuel app. With this initiative, users could find more women’s market offerings, games, and leagues than ever before.

The marketing efforts go beyond the sports betting app and into the community. To encourage viewership of the 2023 Women’s World Cup and support the USWNT, FanDuel partnered with a women-owned roastery to create their own FanDuel Extra Kick Coffee blend.

Matthews explained, “FanDuel hosted FanFuel trucks in New York, Boston, Columbus, and Kansas City, equipped with Extra Kick Coffee, with the goal of helping refuel fans 21+ after a long night of cheering on Team USA during late-night matches.”

The number of bets placed on women’s sports by women has grown across the gambling industry. In similar efforts, DraftKings has created multiple marketing campaigns catered to their growing female fanbase. 

In an interview with Gaming Today, Meg Ryan, DraftKings Vice President of Channel Marketing, said, “There has been an uptick in women engaging with our products as a result of sports betting becoming ubiquitous with sports culture and an entertaining way to maintain a social connection with friends.”

Ryan explains that continuing market research is essential in capitalizing on this new audience’s opportunity. “Our female-presenting audience enjoys consuming sports in a co-watching environment,” says Ryan, “So for last year’s Women’s World Cup, we hosted several in-person watch parties to further engage with sports fans.” Similarly to FanDuel, we are seeing more in-person efforts to market to female sports fans from popular gambling companies nationwide.

DraftKings Sportsbook continues to partner with influential females in the industry, such as sports commentator Charissa Thompson, to engage female users in major event promotions. In other campaigns, during last year’s U.S. Open and celebrating their 50th Anniversary of equal prize money for both men and women tennis players, DraftKings mobile app offered a 50% profit boost on any live bet during the tournament.

As a result of their promotion of women’s sports, Ryan stated, “We have seen growth across many women’s sports, but specifically, it was a big year for NCAA Women’s Basketball. On DraftKings Sportsbook, we saw NCAA Women’s Basketball up 14x year-over-year by handle and 13x year-over-year by bets placed.”

DraftKings is also expanding women’s sports to their DraftKings Network with a new show led by content host Megan Reyes.

“We are always looking for more opportunities to further reach the female audience and the variety of subsegments within, tapping into their interests and fandom through a variety of channels from new programming on DraftKings Network to exciting integrations with our product offerings, as well as meaningful collaborations with partners.”

Female involvement in sports is not a new concept. Women play at top levels across the world. With a new representation of women on major televised networks, social media platforms, and advertisements, the gambling industry is investing significant marketing efforts to capitalize on these emerging opportunities.


About the Author
Emma Carlin

Emma Carlin

Senior Writer
Based in Washington, D.C, Emma Carlin is a senior writer at Gaming Today. She has spent most of her career in public relations, writing and producing content for professional teams and athletes. In her downtime, you can find Carlin at D.C. United or Washington Capitals games.

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