The Queens League puts brand equality to the test

The emergence of the Kings League in the world of sport has been like a hurricane. It’s recorded amazing audiences and attendance figures for the final and the concept has proved extremely popular. So much so that Mediaset has opted to purchase its broadcasting rights. Different proposals are now emerging, such as local leagues in countries like Brazil, a youth league called the Prince Cup… and the Queens League, its female version.

Women’s football has expanded in leaps and bounds, with record figures such as the 91,553 spectators who filled the Camp Nou to watch the women’s classic against Real Madrid.

“Women’s football is a global phenomenon that’s placing the spotlight on equality and proving that football is a gender-neutral spectacle”.

Within this context, Ibai, Piqué and company were quick off the mark and launched their own F football competition: the Queens League. This new championship will be able to compete more directly for players, sponsorships and audiences with the official leagues.

The league began on the weekend of 6th-7th May and the first few rounds have produced some interesting results:

  • The average number of viewers was 193,116, with a peak audience of 306,145.
  • There were 4,100 mentions (check this figure, it seems too low, should it be millions?) on social media since its launch, with an estimated reach of 5.1M users and 495,000 interactions on social media.
  • 77% of the mentions are positive.

The authors’ own data, compiled with the Digimind tool.

These data reflect the great interest in a competition that’s seeking its own positioning, one that’s different from that of the Kings League and conventional women’s football. In this article we want to examine what the Queens League involves, particularly with brands in mind.


Pioneering brands in the Queens League

Knowing the sponsors that are behind it will help us to understand the Queens League’s narrative. These include, in particular, Oysho, which gives its name to the competition and constitutes the official supplier of the sporting material. For this brand it’s a way of positioning itself in the territory of sport and physical activity. This move exemplifies the product revolution that has taken it from lingerie to active wear clothing.

There are also brands such as Astara Move, the mobility sponsor, which is supporting this competition as a way of gaining visibility in fields such as equality and disruption.

Another sponsor brand is Cereales Fitness, which is seeking to reinforce a brand image linked to healthy living. The Queens League is a spectacle that combines high-quality football and socially relevant young women for them.

Besides, each franchise can have its own sponsors, as long as there is no conflict with the league’s ones.


What’s the audience of the Queens League?

The audience of the Queens League is heterogeneous and divided into different and fairly flexible groups. It’s vital to identify these targets and their values and interests in order to connect with them and give meaning to a partnership in this tournament.

After analysing the main mentions of the tournament and the profiles of its followers on social media, we’ve identified four potential targets for the Queens League. 

  • Fans of women’s football: Both men and women who are already familiar with the major competitions and players and attracted by the boldness and spectacle of this championship. This profile may be attracted to the Queens League by the signings of iconic players that have been made and the rising stars.

Sandra Paños TQL

Camiseta Troncas TQL

  • Fans of the Kings League universe: They’ve become used to the format and they’re hungry for more. These fans, both young men and women, are finding an organic continuation in the Queens League, as if it were the second season of a series.

They know the teams and their celebrities and the match day is another event for them; they watch one match after another, whether it be on the official Twitch channel, on a streamer’s channel or on TV.

They’re used to the ground-breaking communication and marketing that’s open to other brands, entertainment, celebrities, Twitch broadcasts and so on. What happens off the pitch is almost as important as what happens on it for them. They think that figures like Gerard Romero, Rivers and DjMariio are charismatic and they’re interested in their unpredictable statements.

Aitana TQL

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Mapas de palabras

  • People interested in feminist values and inclusiveness: It’s taken decades for football clubs to open up to women’s sport, but the Kings League has done so in its very first season. Gestures such as this one could attract people interested not just in sport but also in reinventing the way we view inclusiveness.

Normalising spaces for women in culture and sport without having to ask permission or fight for every minute of exposure.


El Periódico TQL

Flepe Futbol Fem TQL

  • Fans of the gamer universe: The Kings League had the virtue of bringing football closer to a gamer and digital target audience that may have previously only watched LoL matches. They form a heterogeneous group of fans of streamers, Twitch and eSports. From the outset, most of the media and opinion leaders in these communities have displayed an interest in these competitions.

The Kings League and Queens League are therefore likely to monopolise the conversations in this territory and this audience will be obliged to give them a chance to stay up to date.

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Findings and lessons learnt

This competition is highly attractive for advertisers that are able to interpret its codes and references. It will enable them to connect with a number of targets, to promote their products, position their brands, etc. This will be an exercise entailing brand awareness, audience research, competition monitoring, etc. 

After analysing this competition’s targets and course, we’ve come up with a few reflections on the event that may be prove useful for advertisers:

  • The Queens League is an alternative for brands that want to invest in women’s sport to promote equality. It adds a more digital viewpoint and some changes with respect to official women’s football. The classic attributes of effort, achievement and commitment are overshadowed by the spectacle, entertainment and popularity.
  • For brands interested in expanding their presence among the more zeta audience, it’s a highly interesting option, given that it’s one of its targets, as it is for the Kings League. This factor is closely related to the media used, chiefly Twitch channels.
  • It’s crucial to understand that the atmosphere isn’t quite the same as it is in professional sport. Controversies are frequent in this competition and the celebrities usually get more exposure than the players.

The brands are exposed to trolling and therefore need to be entertaining, understanding and quick to act in real time. It’s important to know how to laugh at yourself and regard these kinds of situations as peaks of virality and not as brand crises.

Burger King TQL

One example of the above was when streamer Spursito advertised Burger King live, encouraging the audience to order a McFlurry, its competitor’s ice cream. 

The Kings League brand and its derivatives, such as the Queens League, have great potential not only in Spain, but also throughout the Spanish-speaking world. After Madrid and Barcelona, the mentions mostly come from countries like Mexico and Argentina. Brands should be aware that they gain intercontinental exposure when they’re associated with this championship.

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