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Volume 26 No. 177
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Report: USWNT Games Bringing More Revenue Than Men Recently

From '16-18, USWNT games generated about $50.8M in revenue compared with $49.9M for the USMNT
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
From '16-18, USWNT games generated about $50.8M in revenue compared with $49.9M for the USMNT
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
From '16-18, USWNT games generated about $50.8M in revenue compared with $49.9M for the USMNT
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

USWNT games "generated more total revenue" than USMNT games in the three years after the USWNT won the '15 World Cup, according to audited financial reports from the U.S. Soccer Federation cited by Rachel Bachman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The ability of the USWNT to generate gate revenue that equals or exceeds the USMNT is an "important battleground" in the USWNT's March 8 gender-discrimination lawsuit filed against the USSF. The USSF has made revenue generation a "key part" of its legal defense. But USSF's numbers show that while USMNT games "used to generate millions more" than USWNT games, in recent years the gap in revenue has "all but disappeared." From '16-18, USWNT games generated about $50.8M in revenue compared with $49.9M for the USMNT. Game revenues are "made up mostly of ticket sales," but in the last two years, at least, the USMNT tally includes "appearance fees that opposing teams pay" for games. Ticket sales are "only one revenue stream that the national teams help generate." USSF brought in nearly $49M in "marketing and sponsorship revenue" in '18, "nearly half" of its $101M operating revenue. Marketing and sponsorship revenue includes the "sale of broadcast rights" for games and "sponsorships sold to Budweiser, Nike and others." But the USSF "sells broadcast rights and sponsorships as a bundle, not separately for each national team," which "makes it difficult to parse the value that broadcasters or brands see" in the USMNT versus the USWNT (WSJ.com, 6/17).

SUBDUED CELEBRATION: In Miami, Michelle Kaufman notes despite insisting they "didn’t care what critics said," the U.S. "did not celebrate quite as exuberantly as they did in their opening game" yesterday during the team's 3-0 victory over Chile. U.S. F Carli Lloyd yesterday "made it a point to do a polite golf clap after heading home the first of her two goals." She later "ran over and slapped hands with her teammates on the sideline" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/17). In Boston, Tara Sullivan writes by scoring again, Lloyd "set a World Cup record (men or women) with goals in six consecutive World Cup games." She "could have given us a back flip, an orchestrated group dance, and a finger count up to six if she’d wanted" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/17). In DC, Cindy Boren notes Lloyd's celebration "sent a message" to all of the team's critics. U.S. MF Lindsey Horan, who stood clapping next to Lloyd during the goal celebration, said, "We decided to do something different today. Handshakes were part of it. Golf clap was part of it" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/17). USA TODAY's Nancy Armour writes Lloyd's golf clap was the team's way of saying they have "no interest in acting like the 'proper young ladies' some expect them to be" (USA TODAY, 6/17). ESPN's Jason Fitz: "I loved every second of it. They're taking the opportunity to just say, 'Hey, we hear you and we don't care'" ("Golic & Wingo," ESPN Radio, 6/17).