The record attendance of 48,121 fans in San Mamés highlighted, once again, the unstoppable growth of women’s football. Gathering this volume of fans in the middle of winter and on a weekday, for a women’s football game, is very unusual. However, from a marketing perspective, this figure teach us a valuable lesson.

Is there such an interest for Athletic women’s team in Bilbao? Does women’s football awaken so much passion in the Basque country? The answer to this record number will not be found in the fan base size supporting this team or sport but in the strong connection between Athletic and its fans. At the Mexican women’s football league finals, played by Rayadas and Tigres, more than 51,000 people attended. A record crowned as the highest attendance for a women’s football game at a club level in the present decade. Again, a victory on the stands due to the passion and sense of belonging to their clubs, nothing to do with the ticket price or the match time. Mainly, it is about the emotional connection between fans and club, forged from the history, traditions and values.

Athletic is a different club, with an authentic personality both inside and outside the field. A story well rooted in the culture and traditions of the city that is perceived when making signings, signing sponsorship agreements or designing the official shirt. It is no coincidence that the previous record of attendance was also recorded in San Mamés, when the women’s team won the league title in 2003.

It is not the women’s team or the sport that gather record-breaking crowds in Bilbao or Monterrey but the feeling of belonging and the emotional bond that fans establish with the club. An authentic marketing lesson that teaches us to grow from the essence of the brand.

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