What does the USA Woman’s Soccer team represent? Unity, love, teamwork, strength, uniqueness and diversity. What has this team had to fight against? Sterotypes, fighting for equal pay or at least higher pay comparable to the men. Also a president, that as a team, They all have agreed that Trump represents exclusion. “excluding people that look like them, excluding people of color and Americans that maybe support him” They all have agreed to make a stand and not go to the White House. Instead they will go to the capitol building and celebrate with Nancy Pelousi. These words coming from the teams captain and star Megan Rapinoe.
Since 1991 there has been 8 World cups and the USA woman team has just won a total of 4 championships. The teams leader has also been championing equal pay for women in sports. You could understand why this might be an issue for them, because of them winning 4 world cups. If you compare the USA Woman’s team to the USA men teams, they have been more successful. The woman’s team hasn’t been rank lower than 2nd in the FIFA world ranking. Compared to the men they are currently ranked 30th in the current FIFA world ranking, also the men’s national team failed to qualify for the last world cup.
According to a recent article inside The Washington Post, state that in fiscal 2018 The U.S. Soccer Federation had a total operating revenue of 101.4 million. Almost half was generated by sponsorships and a quarter of revenue can be attributed to revenue from games played by national teams. According to Nike, CEO Mark Parker said that the women’s home jersey is the #1 soccer jersey, men or women’s ever sold on Nike.com
Also mentioned in The Washington Post article, states that the woman team generated more revenue between 2016 - 2018. $900,000 more revenue than the men game. 2015 women cup generated 1.9 million more than the mens games. So looking at these surface level numbers, will actually in my opinion give the USA woman soccer team leverage and also bring up a valid point.
With Trump’s comment, agreeing that he would like to see FIFA making the pay of women equal to men based off seeing the numbers and where the money is actually going. Has also left room for the media to scrutinize the president about how his comments has undermined woman overall value discussed on this issue. If you do go by the numbers, usually overall in sports the men command the bigger draw as far as ticket sales & merchandise.
If you understand business, every business has a period in the beginning that the league generates a certain amount of revenue that either has kept the league in tacked or forced them to merge with another existing league, like the NBA did with the ABA, or the NFL with the AFL. As well as create new gimmicks or up prices to be able to pay the male athlete their current salaries. Men didn’t always make the money that they make nowadays. Ask any of the old timers from the early days in any sports league and they will laugh at the money that the current generation of athlete’s are making off the backs & sacrifices that they made, while playing more for the love of the game, than for a paycheck.
In this day and age the woman athlete has evolved and are determined to display their right to make a salary comparable to what men are currently making. This will only happen when the woman leagues are able to draw more attention to fans that are willing to pay premiums that their male counterpart has been able to garner by showing support for their local teams. This is one of the issue that you see in women sports. You can go to a NY Liberty WNBA game, and you can find front row seats among many other open seats. On the flip side you can go to a Knicks game in the same building MSG right now, and it doesn’t matter how bad the team is you will not find a front row seat available. So once the woman game evolves into a business that fans are willing to support, they will always be looked at as the inferior business product, even if they are actually putting the best product out on the field.
So will this actually happen for the USA Women soccer team? We will just have to wait and see. At least they’re creating a dialogue and having debate about the issue. For me the main point is the bottom line. Women athletes and the sports they play in have to draw in enough fans and get them to be willing to pay the premium that these various leagues need to operate at a profitable margin, all while paying these athletes the salaries they’re demanding. Once this happens, and the more young women decide to make athletics their career path. There will be a shift in woman sports as far as the pay scale.
Will women pay ever match the mens? maybe, in do time. They have to start somewhere and creating dialogue on the huge international and world platform that Soccer/Fut’bol provides. It will set a precedence that will inspire and create urgency for all woman soccer players & maybe future women athletes that come and play at a professional level after them. Hopefully, this USA team that represents and has mixed nationalities, race, ethnic groups, gay or straight. Has laid enough groundwork & foundation that all women moving "four the future" will continue to carry the torch and achieve women’s long term goal. Which is being equal on all levels & walks of life.
Congrats to the 2019 USA FIFA Woman Soccer team.
All photos captured & displayed by Jason Turner of YSYM Films
Video Daily displayed below created by FIFA
Article written by Jason Turner of YSYM Films