The U.S. Women’s Soccer team will play to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday.
The stars on this outstanding squad are turning heads and earning new fans with their focused play. Some of these new fans are little girls with big dreams.
Cue the Nike epic…
Like every other global mega brand, Nike dreams of future profits. The company also has a lot of internal work to do to live up to the lofty goals it sets for itself and the world of athletics.
In May, United States national track and field champion, Alysia Montaño, turned Nike’s ever-aspirational advertising against her former sponsor in this brilliant New York Times editorial. She did so on Mother’s Day to make her point about gender equality in sports all the more powerful and poignant.
For me, it’s difficult to separate a company’s operational problems from its brand advertising, because the brand can’t be one thing and the company another. When that happens, the reality of the company’s operations subtracts value from the ads, no matter how well the ads are made.
Thankfully, for Nike I am not the customer.
I am not Nike’s customer, but I am a sports fan and these spots from Nike are doing a great job selling me on women’s soccer. Given that I already believe in equal pay for equal work, I also support paying our nation’s best soccer players fairly.
In April, five members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team — including stars Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan — filed a wage-discrimination action against the U.S. Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
To highlight just one glaring inequity, the U.S. women received a team total of $2 million when it won the World Cup in Canada in 2015. Yet when the U.S. men played in the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, the team earned a total of $9 million despite going just 1-2-1 and being knocked out in the round of 16.
UPDATE: U.S. Wins World Cup
The United States was victorious on Sunday. The women’s team is now a repeat World Cup champion. They’re dominant. Like Nike, which was waiting to release this testament as soon as the 2-0 victory over The Netherlands was in the record books.
Nike’s commercials are spot on, and they work. That goes without saying, even though I just repeated it. Now, what would blow everyone’s minds is equal pay for equal work at Nike, at the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, and all across this nation.