SMS appoints Sue Anstiss as special advisor in women’s sport

SMS appoints Sue Anstiss as special advisor in women’s sport

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As women’s sport continues to grow at an extraordinary pace, Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) has appointed sector specialist, Sue Anstiss MBE, to extend its expertise and reach in the area.


The research agency, which has a pedigree of over 35 years in sport, is keen to expand its client base in the thriving space of women’s and girls’ sport. SMS has led a variety of research projects into women’s experiences in sport, including in football and golf. It also works with a wide range of sports and fitness brands, federations, events, and retailers targeting female audiences.


Reflecting on Sue’s appointment, SMS Managing Director John Bushell comments: ‘We witnessed a significant growth in women’s sport in the past decade from commercial investment in sponsorships, broadcast rights and player contracts through to increases in viewers, live spectators and participation.
‘In many sports, if women are actively involved, this broadens the appeal for families, and creates greater participation for both children and adults alike of all genders. Women’s involvement is the key for a healthy industry and inclusive sport going forward.’


‘Our experienced team have the tools, knowledge and expertise to help sports and brands better understand their audiences, whether that’s assessing customer demand, measuring fan engagement or predicting consumer attitudes.’


‘Sue is one of the most respected and well-connected experts in women’s sport today, and we’re thrilled that she’ll be joining our team this autumn to advise us as we extend our work in this area.’
A trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust charity, in 2018 Sue Anstiss was awarded an MBE for her services to grassroots and women’s sport. Former CEO of sports PR agency Promote, in 2020 Sue founded Fearless Women. Sue is host of the award-winning podcast The Game Changers, which celebrates trailblazing women in sport, and her book ‘Game On: The Unstoppable Rise of Women’s Sport’ will be published in 2021.


Sue comments: ‘I’ve much admired the professionalism and expertise of SMS having crossed paths with them over 30 years working in the same sector.


‘It was exciting in our first meeting to explore the potential opportunities to enable right holders, sports bodies and brands to maximise the extraordinary development in women’s sport, and in the process help drive future growth in investment and participation.’


Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) is a specialist research agency with global reach and 35 years’ experience. Its full range of quantitative and qualitative approaches provides comprehensive analysis in more than 100 sports. The resulting insight and strategic recommendations support some of the biggest brands, retailers, events, venues, federations and governing bodies around the globe to grow their business and get closer to the people who matter. SMS is also a committed supporter of female sport. It is a signatory to The R&A Women in Golf Charter. In July 2020, SMS chairman Stephen Proctor committed to privately funding a £7,500 scholarship for a selected participant in the Rose Series, designed to give female golfers the chance to compete amid the uncertainty of lockdown. For more information please visit or contact


Fearless Women works to help drive positive change in women’s sport with engaging content, communications, campaigns and consultancy. Fearless Women is also home to the award-winning podcast The Game Changers, which features trailblazing women in sport. The next series will be in partnership with Sport England. With a goal to ‘connect : empower: inspire’, this summer also sees the launch of the ‘Fearless Women Collective’, a not-for-profit network to ensure every woman working in sport fulfils her potential.

"Women’s involvement is the key for a healthy industry and inclusive sport going forward"

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