International sailing series SailGP has today (September 26) entered into a strategic tie-up with Women’s Sports Group (WSG), the body that aims to boost that industry’s profile and value.

The partnership has been struck with the aim of boosting Women’s Pathway, a program launched in 2021 as part of SailGP’s Better Sport strategy around inclusion and more opportunities for women.

From now on, WSG, founded two years ago, will provide advisory services to SailGP on suitable commercial partnerships for the league in order to accelerate the Women’s Pathway progress.

SailGP has said that it wants to capitalise, alongside WSG, on the “surge in engagement and investment” in women’s sport over recent years, to support the league’s ambition of creating gender-equitable competition.

SailGP’s on-water goal is for a female driver to win an event by season six.

The league is aiming to fund “commercial investment and the rights partners” to “supercharge the program’s growth and provide opportunities for further training time on and off the water.”

This partnership has been announced in the days following the Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto, across September 23 and 24.

Dame Heather Rabbatts, co-founder of Women’s Sports Group (and the first female non-executive director and board member at English soccer’s Football Association), said: “We are delighted to be working with SailGP to secure authentic partnerships that not only increase investment in the sport but also amplify the work SailGP and its teams have done to drive equity and inclusion.

“SailGP is a championship that places sustainability and gender equity at its core, and through commercial partnerships, we aim to accelerate and enhance the opportunities for female sailors, providing a platform for these incredible athletes and inspiring the next generation.”

Fiona Morgan, SailGP’s chief purpose officer, added: "Through the Women’s Pathway, SailGP has one of the best opportunities in sport to break existing boundaries, change culture, and have a gender equitable league which I’m incredibly excited about. It’s great to be working with WSG, who share our vision of creating a sustainable, inclusive competition, and together, we will secure further commercial partners to drive this vision forward."

Since October 2021, female athletes have been onboard SailGP’s boats in all races, with 29 female athletes having by now raced onboard the F50 vessels.

Earlier this month, SailGP unveiled an expansion of its partnership with Accor, the global multi-faceted hospitality group.

Accor is now an official SailGP supplier through the remainder of season four, which began in June and ends in July 2024. This builds on its existing global partnership with the French SailGP team.

Other SailGP commercial sponsors for the ongoing fourth season include Rolex as presenting partner, Mubadala as global partner, as well as brands such as Oracle, Cognizant, Apex, and Kuehne+Nagel.

Click here for a GlobalData interview around the current state of play at SailGP with the property’s global marketing director, Leah Davis.