Partnerships and sponsorships are popular PR strategies for companies hoping to start a conversation or get their names out there.

Brands have been doing it for years. Lately, it has become a tool to lift people up and showcase what your brand cares about. Everybody wants to know that their favourite brand cares about the same things they do, or that they at least care about something.

That is why so many brands use International Women's Month or the female empowerment movement as a way to appear 'pro-woman'; but how many brands walk the walk beyond International Women's Day?

media update's Alrika Möller is celebrating International Women’s Month by highlighting brands that created female-focussed partnerships. 


Molson Coors and the PWHL

In August 2023, the Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) had its first face-off. Since then, it has become a beacon for the advancement of women's sports and a favourite of hockey fans everywhere.

On Tuesday, 5 March, the Canadian beverage company Molson announced that it would be an official sponsor of the PWHL. The announcement got some major media attention as it also announced its 'See My Name' campaign at the same time.

The campaign revolves around hair and jerseys. Let me explain …

In ice hockey, the player's surname is at the back of their jersey, above their number. Many female players have long hair and ponytails, so their names often get covered up by their hair when they play.

Molson realised the issue and decided to take one for the team by putting its logo as an official sponsor above the numbers and putting the player's name underneath. The brand is calling itself the hidden sponsor of the PWHL.

Women all over the world appreciated Molson's sacrifice, and the campaign was shared all over social media — many women encouraging others to support the brand or praise the company's efforts. 

It was a true PR hat trick. The campaign and sponsorship got the Molson name out into the world and garnered some good press and social capital.



Luxe and the Women's Durban Open Beach Volleyball Tournament of 2023

The beauty brand Luxe pointed out that it doesn't have to be International Women's Month for a brand to support and uplift women. Shocking, I know!

In April 2023, Luxe became the main sponsor for the Women's Durban Open Beach Volleyball Tournament. Sponsoring the event was a big deal since women's sports don't always get big sponsors or major traction — especially niche sports like beach volleyball. 

The brand went further and took the opportunity to take a stance. How? Well, when beach volleyball gets broadcasted on television, the cameras often focus on or zoom in on the commonly sexualised parts of the female body.

Luxe realised that this was happening and that it was obviously not okay. That is why the brand put QR codes on the athletes' uniforms in the areas that those cameras drew attention to. When the QR code-covered area appeared on the screen, people would scan the code to find a video ad with multiple female athletes discussing the issue

The ad had the powerful message, 'I am greater than the sum of my body parts'.

Women around the world appreciated the Luxe campaign and its willingness to take a stance on such a universal yet controversial issue. It was a great PR serve — pun intended



Charlotte Tilbury and the F1 Academy  

It is no secret that Formula 1 is generally seen as a male sport. All the drivers in F1 are male, and men typically make up the fan base for all things cars and driving. That is, until now.

In recent years, women have dipped their toes into the world of racing and enjoyed every second of it. The number of female fans increased exponentially, and F1 is no longer the Mojo Dojo Case House or man cave it used to be.

Since this boom in female fans happened, a lot of male fans voiced their concerns or displeasure with the situation, saying that the women only like the sport to impress men or because they find the drivers cute.

Regardless of the obvious attractiveness of the F1 drivers, the women are real fans of the sport and some have dreams of getting their chance in the driver's seat, which is why the F1 Academy came to be. F1 Academy is an all-female, single-seater racing championship hosted by Formula 1. It gives female racing drivers a real chance to show their talents.

In 2024, the makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury made history by becoming the first female-founded brand to partner with F1 Academy. The brand covered the racing car in prints of lipstick and makeup to recognise the fact that women can — and do — have many different interests … not to mention the absolute slay of a racing suit.

The partnership encouraged all female fans to keep supporting the sport by acknowledging their love of racing and their ability to take part in racing sports.

This PR move was brilliant for multiple reasons. Not only did it activate the brand's GRS to speed it past competitors when it comes to news coverage, but it also made female F1 fans everywhere feel seen and supported by Charlotte Tilbury.

Also, female racing drivers are really cool! 



Brand partnerships can be a powerful thing. If your partnership focuses on women, women will focus on you!

International Women's Month was jam-packed this year! What was your favourite Women's Month PR campaign? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Ladies, don’t let the end of Women’s Month cause you to forget your worth. Check out Why women matter in the PR workplace: in 200 words or less.

*Image courtesy of Canva