The members of the U.S. women’s team are bona fide stars, both on the pitch and in a dozen different ad campaigns.
But their popularity doesn’t appear to have transferred much to the National Women’s Soccer League.
According to The Guardian, in the three months since the World Cup, “it would appear the NWSL hasn’t added a single new sponsor. Not one.”
The Guardian places most of the blame for this on inept marketing by the league, which “failed to exploit a series of gifts rarely given to a women’s sport, such as the wall-to-wall coverage of the World Cup on Fox Sports.”
The NWSL, The Guardian notes, took until June 30, “virtually the end of the tournament, to announce a television deal with Fox Sports, failing to co-brand with” the World Cup.
The Guardian adds:
Even the announcement itself was made in a low-key press release on the afternoon of the USA-Germany semifinal, guaranteeing that even outlets predisposed to cover women’s soccer probably wouldn’t have any room for it.
And so it’s continued: whether it’s the announcement that the NWSL final would be played in Portland regardless of teams involved, something put out in August but decided in April, or the odd lack of recognition, let alone a speech, from Plush at the ceremony honoring the World Cup champions at New York’s City Hall (it was left to Major League Soccer’s Don Garber to make the NWSL case), the league’s conspicuous absence and inability to capitalize on the massive success of its own players has been astounding.