The performance of the United States’ women’s team (USWNT) at the Fifa Women’s World Cup this summer has delivered a significant commercial boost to the US Soccer Federation.
According to official retailer Fanatics, sales of the home USWNT jersey are up 500 per cent in 2019 compared to the same period in 2015: the Women’s World Cup semi-finals. Kit manufacturer Nike, meanwhile, said in its recent quarterly earnings report that the jersey is the best-selling soccer jersey, men’s or women’s, ever sold on Nike’s website in one season.
“It’s hard to overstate how important this year has been to the evolution of the women’s offense at Nike,” Nike chief executive Mark Parker said.
The revenue generated by the USWNT is likely to help the women’s players in their battle with the US Soccer Federation for equal pay and working conditions. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that in the three years after the USWNT won the 2015 Women’s World Cup, their games generated more revenue in ticket sales than the men’s team (USMNT).
The USWNT’s victory over England in the semi-finals on Tuesday garnered over seven million viewers on Fox, with a peak of over nine million. According to Fox, it was most-watched game in any sport played during a work/school day in five years, dating back to the 2014 Men’s World Cup.
In the United Kingdom, the game had an average audience of 10.3m and a peak audience of 11.7 million viewers on the BBC, making it the most-watched TV program of the year in the country thus far.
The USWNT will face the Netherlands in the final on Sunday.