A report conducted by IMG, a global sports, events and representation company, has revealed there was record growth for England Netball across its digital platforms during the Netball World Cup.
The report analysed the impact of the 2023 Netball World Cup on the organisation’s social media channels and ENgage website and explored the role of the Vitality Roses’ on-court performance, players’ personal platforms, and earned news coverage during the tournament, in generating deeper fan engagement and commercial growth for the sport.
Key findings from the report include:
Interest in participation soared: Visits to England Netball’s ENgage website, the hub of the organisation’s participation programmes, were 269% higher during the World Cup than in the period leading up to the tournament – hitting a peak of 41K visits after the tournament finished on 14 August 2023.
Digital Growth: England Netball saw record engagement across its social media channels, with posts mentioning the organisation viewed more than 3.6M times. It also saw 10% follower growth across its social media channels during the tournament, which was largely driven by TikTok and Instagram. For the first time since its TikTok channel launched in July, the number of England Netball’s TikTok followers has overtaken its number of YouTube subscribers and England Netball became the most-followed national netball team on Instagram by the end of the tournament.
Influencer profiling: During the World Cup, England Netball’s players cumulatively gained +52K followers on Instagram, an 18% increase, confirming the importance of players and the role they can play in growing the sport. England shooter Helen Housby is leading the way with 194K+ Instagram followers.
Value for brand partners: Success on the court helped England Netball generate a total earned media value of £74.8M during the World Cup through news coverage and social media traction, including +£20M value generated for its headline sponsors Nike and Vitality.
Peak awareness of the sport: Searches for ‘England Netball’ increased by 492% from January, with a 32% increase of daily visitors to the website.
Fran Connolly, Chief Executive of England Netball said: “The Vitality Roses inspired the nation with their on-court heroics in the summer and it’s a testament to the team that netball enjoyed such an incredible moment and record levels of visibility. As a result, more people than ever engaged and took notice of our sport and we are working really hard to capitalise on this success to move the dial, to improve opportunities for people to get on court and to take our sport to new heights.”
IMG’s Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Digital, Lewis Wiltshire said: “This has been a bumper summer of women’s sport. We’ve seen first-hand how the success of the England Roses and Lionesses on the world stage can be a catalyst for the growth of women’s sport in more ways than one. This report shows how organisations like England Netball can translate that success on court to sustainable commercial growth, channelling the power of fan engagement through its digital channels.”
Click here to view the full report.