Lidl and LGFA research finds 59% of Irish people have never attended a live women’s sporting event

Lidl and LGFA research finds 59% of Irish people have never attended a live women’s sporting event

The Lidl Ireland and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) have launched the 2024 Lidl National Football League season, and this has been accompanied by new research revealing that 59% of Irish people have never attended a live women’s sporting event.

Lidl Ireland and the LFGA have launched a new campaign to ‘Get Behind the Fight’ and support live female sport

The initiative aims to boost attendance as the league kicks off, offering opportunities for the public to witness top-class female sports across the country.

The Division 1 campaign begins on January 20th with a live TG4 fixture between 2023 All-Ireland Finalists Dublin and Kerry at Parnell Park. The research, commissioned by Lidl and conducted by Red C in December 2023, highlights various barriers to attendance, including perceptions of women’s sports being less exciting or competitive. The study also indicates a lack of media coverage, with 65% of respondents feeling that women’s sports don't receive enough attention.

The research also found that Irish people are five times more likely to attend a premier men’s event in person than an equivalent premier female event, with almost half (46%) saying that men’s sport is generally better to watch. A staggering 59% of Irish people said they would prefer to watch men’s sports on TV than attend a live female sporting event.

J.P. Scally, CEO of Lidl Ireland, emphasised the need for societal change and increased support for female athletes, saying, "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 perceptions head-on and break through the bias to showcase the incredible skill of players, the quality of gameplay, and the potential that the game has to deliver for fans with more support behind it.

LGFA and TG4 announce live coverage of 13 fixtures from 2024 National Leagues(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

"This campaign is about accelerating a process of change in our society, as our female athletes deserve support week in and 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."

The research also revealed that creating new connections with individual sports stars could drive support, but half of the respondents felt there was a lack of Irish female sporting heroes beyond boxing sensation Katie Taylor.

Carla Rowe, Dublin TG4 All-Ireland winning captain and Lidl Ambassador, added, "The potential for this game really is unlimited, and we’ve seen how the Irish public can rally around female stars like Katie Taylor to drive them to success. Just think what we could achieve with the backing of more supporters, not only at the big finals but at local games too. Making a collective effort to celebrate and elevate women in sports, from grassroots to the elite level, will change the game for all of us."

The Lidl National Football League gets under way this coming weekend. Division 4 fixtures begin on Sunday, January 14, while counties competing in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 will commence their respective campaigns on the weekend of January 20/21. The LGFA and TG4 have confirmed live coverage of 13 fixtures via linear TV and the Spórt TG4 YouTube page, commencing with the Dublin-Kerry clash from Parnell Park on Saturday, January 20.

Peil na mBan Beo will be available to audiences globally on the TG4 Player at and on the TG4 Mobile and Smart TV App.

Tickets to attend the group fixtures of the 2024 Lidl National Football League matches are available via the host county boards.

Lidl Ireland Research: Attitudes to Attending Female Sporting Events 2024: Key Findings 

Decision-making: attending male or female sports events 

59% would watch a men's sports event on TV over attending a female sports event in person

(49% for women and 70% for men)

52% would choose to attend a male sports event over an equivalent female sports event

54% of those who attend female sports events would attend a male event over a female event

9% would choose to attend a female sports event over an equivalent male sports event

31% would bring a child to a men’s sports event over a female sports event

15% would bring a child to a women’s sports event over a male sports event

Attendance at female or male sports events 

59% have never attended a female sports event in Ireland

29% have never attended a male sports event in Ireland

27% have attended over 20 male sports events in Ireland

42% are interested in attending female sports events in Ireland

57% are interested in attending male sports events in Ireland

Barriers impacting decision to attend female sports events 

41% not knowing or hearing about the event

37% of the venue is not easy to get to

34% ticket price are too high

34% not know anyone who is playing

Important factors in deciding to attend a female sports event 

74% is a reasonable entry price

72% know and understand the rules of the sport

69% easily accessible sports ground

Perception of Female Sport as a Product 

53% High Quality                21% Low Quality                 26% Don’t Know

66% Skilful                           15% lack Skill; 20% Don’t Know

53% Exciting                        21% Boring                          26% Don’t Know

Perception of who makes more sacrifices to participate in sport  

35% women

12% men

43% are both equal

10% don’t know

Information sources for those interested in attending female sports events (male in brackets) 

42% Social media (44%)

36% Friends/family (43%)

31% Sporting body website (36%)

21% Newspaper sports section (27%)

20% Local sports club (21