Lidl Ireland and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) have launched a new campaign calling on people to “Get Behind the Fight” and attend Ladies Gaelic Football fixtures at all levels of the game.
According to research undertaken by RED C, on behalf of Lidl, nearly 60% of Irish people have never attended a live women’s sporting event.
The ad features LGFA brand ambassadors and intercounty players Ally Cahill (Cavan), Nicola Ward (Galway), Emer Gallagher (Donegal), and Carla Rowe (Dublin), as well as club players from Kilmacud Crokes and Dunshaughlin. The ad will premiere on national television on Sunday 14 January 2024 as the Lidl National Football League season gets underway. The new campaign will revolve around TV and OOH.
The RED C research also showed that despite 42% of people stating an interest in attending a female sporting event and three quarters (74%) thinking it is a shame that people don’t attend, more than half (59%) of the population admit they have never attended a live female sporting event compared to just over a quarter (29%) having never attended a live men’s event. Out of the 25% of the population who do attend live female sporting events, spectators are more likely to be male (57%) than female (43%) and aged between 35-54-years. Parents of participating children are also more active in attending female fixtures.
Lack of media coverage is perceived to negatively affect public awareness and support, with some 40% stating this as a reason for non-attendance at live women’s events. Almost two thirds (65%) of people think women’s sport does not get enough media coverage in Ireland and 83% agree that men’s sport is covered more comprehensively.
Other barriers to attending female sports events included venues not being easy to get to (37%), not knowing anyone that is playing (34%) and ticket prices being too high (34%) but perceptions and unconscious bias around women’s sport in Ireland continue to be key barriers.
Almost half of Irish people (46%) believe that men’s sport is generally better to watch than women’s sport. Whilst Irish people perceive women’s sports in Ireland to be high quality and skilful, they think it’s less exciting or competitive than men’s sports and over a third (38%) think that the standard of play isn’t high enough to justify attendance at live matches.
According to J.P. Scally, CEO Lidl Ireland: “Lidl is committed to supporting the growth of Ladies Football and the broader community of female athletes participating in sport across the country. The research has revealed some pretty stark perceptions about female sport in Ireland and the aim of this campaign is to tackle those head on and break through the bias to showcase the incredible skill of players and quality of gameplay and the potential that the game has to deliver for fans with more support behind it. This campaign is about accelerating a process of change in our society as our female athletes deserve support week in week out. It’s not just about turning up for our sisters, daughters and partners, it’s about creating a new wave of support for the next generation to drive on the game.”
Mícheál Naughton, LGFA President adds: “I wish to commend Lidl Ireland on another important piece of research. The findings are certainly revealing and it’s now incumbent on people to get behind the fight and ensure greater attendances at our fixtures in 2024. It’s an exciting year for the LGFA as we celebrate our 50th anniversary on July 18th and it promises to be another memorable campaign as our counties battle it out for Lidl National League honours before attention switches to the Championship season. I would like to wish all of our players the very best of luck as they get ready to commence a new season and, as always, a huge word of thanks to Lidl Ireland, our National League sponsors and official retail partner, for their ongoing support.”