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Special Sector Update: It’s Time!

29 September 2022

Sport NZ launches campaign to build support for elite women’s sport 

Sport NZ has launched ‘It’s Time’ – a campaign aimed at encouraging greater engagement in elite women’s sport. 

The campaign capitalises on New Zealand’s recent hosting of the Women's Cricket World Cup, and upcoming Rugby and FIFA Women’s World Cups, together with the many other high profile women’s sporting events and competitions being held in New Zealand and overseas over the next 12 months.   

Research commissioned by Sport NZ shows awareness of female athletes is significantly lower than comparable male athletes, particularly in team sports. Only one in three New Zealanders regularly watch women’s sport and more than half (53%) don’t expect to engage in more in women’s sport over the next 12 months, whether that’s watching on TV, attending matches, using social media or following media coverage. 

The research demonstrates that the more visible female athletes are, the more New Zealanders are likely to know them by name, follow their journeys and become fans. This in turn builds their profile and commercial value. Visit the web site.

Sport NZ Chief Executive Raelene Castle says there is a huge opportunity to increase the visibility of and support for New Zealand’s female athletes, particularly with the Rugby World Cup kicking off in October and the Football World Cup heading to New Zealand next July.

“Greater awareness and engagement in women’s sport in Aotearoa now, will mean this generation of female players and athletes can, and should be, an inspiration to the next.” Read the media release.

Sport NZ will work closely with national sporting bodies to help drive the ‘It’s Time’ campaign over the next 12 months and provide an opportunity for as many sports as possible to be a part of it.  While the campaign will launch featuring five hero sports which have major events pending – rugby, rugby league, football, netball and cricket – the goal is to encourage New Zealanders to get behind a wide array of female athletes and sports across 2022 and 2023. 

‘It’s Time’ will feature primarily in outdoor and digital media, with billboards and bus shelters around the country that feature New Zealand female athletes and teams, encouraging the public to watch, follow and support via different calls to action. 

Value and Visibility is one of the pillars of the Government’s strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Recreation. The ‘It’s Time’ campaign is a key milestone in the ongoing work by Sport New Zealand to support that strategy. 

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