The U.S. Women Won, the Men Lost, and the Equal Pay Fight Tied Them Together Again

Deals for merchandise as numerous as T-shirts and socks, bobbleheads and toys now herald income in classes the place it didn’t beforehand exist. Jerseys customized with a participant’s title can imply hundreds of in additional earnings alone; the complete pot can produce six figures in licensing earnings for a star like Rapinoe or striker Alex Morgan.

At the similar time, a number of gamers have created their very own aspect companies to advertise their manufacturers, and a brand new firm, REP Worldwide, was fashioned with the gamers union’s counterparts from the N.F.L. and the W.N.B.A. to seek out new offers. REP’s president, Steve Scebelo, estimated earlier than the World Cup championship would carry the potential for at the least $1 million in new licensing income — one other five-figure earnings enhance for every participant — over the subsequent 12 months.

“We really believe in the value of this team,” stated Becca Roux, the government director of the ladies’s nationwide staff gamers affiliation. “This is an opportunity to take something into a whole different echelon commercially.”

Scott Langerman, the chief government of ACE Media, which works with the ladies’s staff on content material improvement and different initiatives, stated Monday that the soccer stars and different skilled athletes have for years allowed others to outline alternatives for them. Victory, he stated, has given the ladies’s staff all the leverage.

“The USWNT has a unique opportunity to rebalance that system,” he stated, utilizing the web shorthand for the staff, “and to have an important voice in who they are and what they do, especially where it comes to off-field opportunities.”

Until then, the gamers plan to proceed to make their case for extra — more cash, extra funding, extra respect — instantly. Rapinoe, the free-speaking, smile-flashing, goal-scoring star, might get the first likelihood.

Throughout the Americans’ run in France, she had pummeled soccer’s leaders for his or her lack of assist for the ladies’s recreation. “Disappointing” was how she labeled it. “Ridiculous.” So when she stepped onto the podium to be honored after Sunday’s victory, and FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, prolonged his hand and steered they’ve “a conversation,” she was prepared.

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