No More Playing Games: What You Should Know approximately the U.S. Women’s Soccer Equal Pay Fight
Weeks after the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) made records by means of triumphing its fourth FIFA World Cup – and inside the method smashing international television rankings for the sport – throngs of adoring lovers retain to laud the players daily on news packages and social media.
But notwithstanding global dominance, the woman athletes are nevertheless paid simplest a fragment of what their male counterparts earn. Why?
UNLV’s Nancy Lough may have solutions. Lough, a College of Education professor who has studied advertising and marketing, sponsorship, and gender equity in women’s sports for the reason that 1990s, is a longtime Title IX representative and writer of the brand new “Routledge Handbook of the Business of Women’s Sport.”
Here, Lough examines the nuances of the USWNT’s gender-based totally pay-discrimination lawsuit towards the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), the sports history main up to it, and the position that media, men, and different athletes would possibly play inside the future of women’s sports activities.
First, some background: Why aren’t male and lady football players paid the same?
The USWNT generates more money for the USA, attains higher television rankings, and has a miles larger and extra passionate fan base than the guys’ countrywide team. However, the USWNT players earn 38% of what the U.S. Guys’ national group earns, despite being the satisfactory team in the world and the guys’ national group not even qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Historically, the argument in opposition to paying women same to the guys became that they did not generate sales, no one accompanied or watched them, and in essence, no one changed into interested by ladies’ soccer. This has been a false narrative used repeatedly for decades – in view that 1999 when the USWNT broke via on the sector degree with a dramatic World Cup win because of the host country.
In reality, the 2019 Women’s World Cup very last generated 20% greater viewers than the 2018 men’s FIFA World Cup final – a right away contradiction to the arguments made to justify the pay disparity.
Speaking of high viewership and media insurance, how does the fandom generated through the USNWT’s win assist beef up their case for identical pay and translate to sponsorship bucks?
Women acquire 4% of all media coverage allotted to all sports activities, which translates to 96% for guys’ sports. The way that sports activities sponsorships are offered and measured is based on media metrics like fee-in line with-influence and target market length/viewership. So, if media forget about girls’ sports — which they have got done for decades and keep to do — then the fee for sponsors is faded. In essence, media coverage builds audiences, followings, and enthusiasts. So when media contributors say no person is interested in ladies’ sports, what they certainly are pronouncing is no one of them — mainly men in sports media — is inquisitive about protecting it.
The 14.Three million visitors on Fox by myself for the Women’s World Cup final ought to be yet some other piece of evidence that there may be an interest in women’s sports, and that those athletes are belongings who can be marketed to consumers and fanatics in significant ways to hook up with a demographic that has been hard to reach.
Could you address the misconception that handiest girls are interested in women’s sports activities?
A latest have a look at that become worldwide in scope showed the fan base for girls’ sports — this includes basketball, tennis, golf, and football — is constructed from fifty-one % males and 49% ladies. Additionally, eighty-four % of sports activities enthusiasts ordinary pick out as lovers of ladies’ sports activities. They span a wide variety of a long time, races, and socio-monetary backgrounds. In essence, I see women’s sports and women athletes as presenting a completely unique price proposition — one that has been overlooked for decades.
Historically, even female fanatics haven’t been taken significantly. Women are inquisitive about women’s sports and mainstream sports activities (NFL, MLB, NHL). But the sports enterprise is ruled via men in choice making roles, including media, marketing, control, governance, and coaching. The result is that women’s voices are not present, not represented, and not considered. It changed into best lately that the NFL commenced recognizing the sales potential available by means of making products for ladies fans. In essence, men nevertheless conflict with understanding how to speak with women and knowing what ladies value. So as long as men control the industry, this problem will continue to exist.