U.S. Soccer Commits To Holding SheBelieves Cup For The Next Three Years
The USSF has confirmed that the SheBelieves Cup will return for the next three years, with England, France and Germany all returning as participants in future years. Dates and locations of matches are still to be determined. The U.S. beat Germany 2-1 last night in Boca Raton, Fla., to claim the inaugural SheBelieves Cup, and USSF President Sunil Gulati said this can become one of the biggest women’s soccer tournaments in the world. “We’ve done this sort of event before back in the 1990s, but it wasn’t quite at this level,” Gulati said. “To be able to have top-level competition like this, and three great games in a short period of time? It’s not easy to get that.” For the previous 19 years, the USWNT has participated in the Algarve Cup, an annual invitational tournament held by the Portuguese Football Federation in early March. Gulati said that the USWNT has often had to go to tournaments abroad to seek out high-level competition, but that the SheBelieves Cup, held in the U.S., not only solves that problem, but also helps promote both the team and the #SheBelieves message and campaign conceived and developed by the USWNT players. While this year’s edition will be used as preparation for the Rio Games, the ’17 SheBelieves Cup will likely represent the strongest competition the USWNT will play all year.
PROFIT EXPECTED NEXT YEAR: Total revenue forecasted for the ’17 SheBelieves Cup is $2.4M, which includes a forecasted $1.175M net profit and assumes attendance exceeding 51,000. While financial results of this year’s tournament are not yet available, 51,891 tickets were sold across the three USWNT matches. Details for the inaugural SheBelieves Cup were announced in early January, and Gulati said that going forward, he expects that the longer lead time will allow for more partner activation, as well as provide the ability to do more around showcasing and broadcasting the games. The USWNT’s first match was broadcast on FS1, while their remaining games were shown on ESPN3. The games between the international teams were not shown on U.S. broadcast television, although the BBC and French broadcasters D17 and Canal + Sport broadcast them in Europe. Gulati noted that an important element of the Cup going forward is the message of SheBelieves, which the USWNT has championed and remains a key reason why this tournament was created. During the week-long tournament, USWNT players met with students, female leaders and members of the military in the three communities the games were played in, as well as hosted a four-day girls’ fantasy camp in Nashville.