The United States women’s national soccer team (USWNT) generated more revenue than the men’s side in the three years after their 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup triumph, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Financial reports seen by the business newspaper show that a surge in ticket sales for the women’s games helped earn the United States Soccer Federation (US Soccer) US$50.8 million from 2016 to 2018. The men’s team, meanwhile, apparently only generated US$49.9 million over the same period.
Prior to 2016 – a year that saw the USWNT generate US$1.9 million more than their male counterparts – the men’s team had brought in more revenue every year.
Ticket sales make up just part of US Soccer’s operating revenue, with the financial records showing that the governing body earned nearly US$49 million from marketing and sponsorship in 2018.
Despite that, recent commercial deals signed by US Soccer with payments firm Visa and car manufacturer Volkswagen have a significant focus on the women’s side of the game.
The WSJ report comes just days after the USWNT won 3-0 against Chile to qualify for the last 16 of this year’s Women’s World Cup in France.
Broadcast giant Fox Sports said the win drew 5.4 million viewers across its TV and streaming platforms, making the match the most-watched group stage game ever in the US and the most-watched English-language soccer telecast in the country since the final of last year’s Fifa World Cup in Russia.