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Johnnie Walker launches women’s sports initiative

Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker has teamed up with Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham to ‘rally the nation’ to watch women’s sports this summer.

Hannah Waddingham Johnnie Walker
Hannah Waddingham stars in the new campaign video, which rallies people to watch women’s sports

Ahead of the Women’s World Cup, which is anticipated to be the ‘largest standalone women’s sporting event in the world’, Johnnie Walker has collaborated with the Emmy-winning actress to motivate US consumers to not only tune into this summer’s matches, but to watch women’s sports all year round.

“We must do better to ensure women receive the same visibility, recognition, and accurate portrayals as their male counterparts,” said Waddingham. “I am excited to collaborate with Johnnie Walker, a brand that is steadfast in its support of gender equality, to help celebrate women athletes and inspire a culture that values the talents and potential of all women.”

Waddingham stars in a promotional video for the campaign, in which she shares statistics regarding the visibility of female sports.

She notes that although women make up more than 40% of all athletes, they receive less than 10% of total sports news coverage.

Johnnie Walker and Waddingham are therefore ‘on a mission’ to help close the visibility gap for women in sports.

To aid the mission, Johnnie Walker has also partnered with Just Women’s Sports, a digital-first media platform committed to ‘unleashing the energy and hype’ that defines women’s sports.

Until 20 August, anyone aged 21 and over can visit to learn how to receive ‘Match Day Memos’ from Waddingham, and view this summer’s game day schedule.

These video reminders will be sent ahead of this summer’s ‘most exciting games’ to ensure fans never miss a match, and will also highlight how watching and supporting women’s sports can contribute to change for equality.

“Everywhere you look, women’s sports are on the rise,” said Just Women’s Sports founder and CEO Haley Rosen. “Investment, viewership and participation are all up — but media coverage is still stuck at a shockingly low percentage.

“Johnnie Walker shares our vision of what women’s sports can be, and we’re thrilled to be teaming up on this unique and needed initiative to drive more equitable coverage.”

To watch the promotion video, click below.

Women’s Sports Foundation

In addition to the video campaign, Johnnie Walker is donating US$100,000 to its non-profit partner, the Women’s Sports Foundation, to support the critical work they are doing to expand access and opportunities for women in sport so they can play, compete and lead without barriers.

Danette Leighton, Women’s Sports Foundation CEO, said: “Seeing a brand like Johnnie Walker use its platform to educate and empower people across the country to watch women’s sports is thrilling.

“We at the Women’s Sports Foundation know from our extensive research that it is imperative to have brands, organisations and corporations invest in women’s sports to reach true equity.

“As millions tune in to the Women’s World Cup, it is our hope that this campaign inspires everyone to continue following women athletes in all sports throughout the year and encourages them to uplift all women in their communities so they can thrive on and off the field.”

The ‘Watch Women’s Sports’ rallying cry is a continuation of Johnnie Walker’s First Strides initiative, an ongoing commitment to celebrate, inspire and enable more meaningful firsts in culture.

Last week, Waddingham’s Ted Lasso co-star Cristo Fernández starred in Gran Centenario Tequila’s new Incuestionables campaign.

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