The United States women’s national team’s jersey is now the best-selling soccer jersey ever on Nike.com, outpacing all men’s team jerseys, Nike CEO Mark Parker said.
The U.S. defeated England 2-1 in a close match on Tuesday and is advancing to the 2019 Women’s World Cup final on Sunday. The U.S. will play the winner of the Netherlands and Sweden, who meet in the semi-final match on Wednesday. England will face that match’s losing team on Saturday to determine third place.
Rising sales of merchandise tied to the U.S. Women’s national team come as its players are fighting for equal pay with men’s soccer players. Twenty-eight members of the current player pool in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles earlier this year, alleging “institutionalized gender discrimination” that includes inequitable compensation when compared with their counterparts on the men’s national team.
Last month, the U.S. women’s national team and U.S. Soccer tentatively agreed to mediate the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, attorneys for the women point out that if both the men’s and the women’s teams were to win 20 non-tournament matches, the men would earn on average $13,000 per game, while the average women’s team player would earn a maximum of $5,000 per game.
The U.S. Soccer Federation said claimed men bring in more revenue and TV ratings, leading to the pay disparities.
Excitement about the U.S. Women’s national team is driving sales, Nike’s Parker said on the call last week. “The exposure is driving outstanding sell-through in kits, high-performance bras, and lifestyle extensions,” he noted on the call.