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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Mastercard Women in Sports

Finalist in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Gender Equality


Mastercard is committed to designing a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. Even today, inequality and exclusion still hold women back.  A world that works better for women gives everyone the chance to unleash their potential, pursue their passions and make extraordinary things happen.  

Sports can play a pivotal role in inspiring positive change in society. That’s why Mastercard has set out to accelerate the growth of women’s sports around the globe and inspire new generations of players and fans through the power of sport. 

Strategy and Execution

Mastercard has focused on a three-pronged approach to advancing women’s sports – advocating, elevating and investing. 


On International Women’s Day, Mastercard strengthened their existing NWSL sponsorship by announcing a multi-year partnership with the NWSL Players Association, dedicating more tools and resources to empower players. Mastercard also advocated for equality in education through the Girls4Tech program, teaching young female fans STEM skills through specialized curriculum tapping into their passions around sports.  


Mastercard elevated the experience for female athletes and fans, developing the world’s first live sonic trophy for Rugby World Cup 2021 (played in Nov. 2022) Women’s Player of the Match and hosting a  

Copa America Femenina press conference in the metaverse. They’ve created platforms for female athletes to showcase their skills and talent and inspire the next generation of female athletes – launching the first-ever content series for the NWSL, partnering with Naomi Osaska for a boundary-breaking panel discussion, and launching the Youth Unstoppables content series in partnership with World Rugby. 

And as one of the biggest investors in women’s sports, Mastercard doubled down on efforts around women’s-focused partnerships across tennis, golf, soccer and rugby. This includes investments spanning players, teams and events such as Crystal Dunn, Naomi Osaka, Alex Scott, Annika Sorenstam, Portia Woodman, Arsenal WFC, Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) Women’s Football Team, Olympique Lyonnais Women’s Team, CONMEBOL Women’s Copa America2022, Australian Open, The AIG Women’s Open and the NWSL, among others. 


In 2022, there was significant growth in attendance across leagues and events that Mastercard invested in and partnered with – NWSL attendance broke the 1 million spectator ceiling (up 43% YOY), European Women’s Football attendance increased 200% at the mid-season mark YOY, attendance was up by 57% YOY at the AIG Women’s Open and the Women’s Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand saw a 330% increase in attendance over the last RWC in 2017.  


Growth wasn’t limited to in-person attendance, as at-home viewership for key matches also soared. The NWSL championship has 915k viewers, up 71% from 2021. 365 million people watched the Women’s Euro 2022, up 105% from 2017. And more New Zealanders tuned in to the Women’s RWC final in November 2022 (in which New Zealand faced England) than had watched the 2015 Men’s RWC final (when the men’s team was up against rival Australia).  

And Mastercard successfully connected with the next generation of inspiring women’s athletes through the first-of-its-kind digital content series Youth Unstoppables. The series, which championed 17 athletes from around the world received more than 52 million impressions.  And 88 Girls4Tech sessions were held in 2022, ensuring the next generation of athletes has the education needed to excel on and off the playing field.  


Video for Mastercard Women in Sports

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