By: Sami Sharfin
In February 2022, the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team reached an agreement with U.S. Soccer to end a six-year battle over equal pay, specifically concerning opportunities on the basis of sex as stated in Title IX.
The deal promises $24 million plus bonuses matching that of what the mens players make. The legal dispute began in 2016 when five star players, including Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn and Hope Solo, said they were being shortchanged, earning as little as 40% of what the men’s national team players were paid.
All over the world of sports, stadiums are making strides to further close the gap in a number of ways.
Promoting women + minority groups into leadership roles
For the longest time, sports has been primarily a male-dominated industry. While there are more women in professional sports than ever before, female executives are still extremely rare in the sports world. The Globe and Mail indicates that of the C-suite executives in the four major sports — the NHL, NFL, MLB and the NBA — less than 2% are women.
When it comes to coaching, records are now being broken, with 12 women serving as coaches in the NFL and the New York Yankees making history by hiring the first female manager in the minor leagues, Rachel Balkovec.
Sure, there’s still a long way to go but we’re excited to celebrate progress!
Ensuring equitable locker rooms + training facilities
If you haven’t seen the TikTok posted by Oregon Ducks center Sedona Prince at the NCAA women’s tournament, we recommend you hit the link ASAP. In the video, the college basketball player raises awareness about the inequalities women in sports face by exposing the striking differences between the mens and women’s weight room.
Now viral, her TikTok sparked an important nationwide dialogue about how women are treated in athletics and beyond.
Engaging female fans
Women make up nearly 50% of the NFL, NBA and MLB fan bases. While female fan viewership is on the rise, so is the potential audience that sports marketers can capitalize upon. It’s important for leagues to focus their resources and efforts not just on male fans, but on the female fanbase as well in order to increase their revenue. Aiming advertising and marketing campaigns toward women in addition to men is a great place to start!
Not only are there players like those on the U.S. women’s soccer team promoting equity, but MLS teams like the Columbus Crew and Austin FC are creating more inclusive fan and employee experiences by partnering with Aunt Flow.
Toilet paper is offered for free, why aren’t tampons and pads? Aunt Flow is helping to ensure every person has access to quality, free period products with a solution both stadium fans and facilities teams can get behind.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with Claire Coder and her amazing team at Aunt Flow to ensure our fans have access to products for Columbus Crew matches and all stadium events.”
Phil Goldfarb, Director Corporate Partnerships, Columbus Crew SC