On numerous occasions, when talking about feminist claims in sport, we usually say that it is a fight to achieve a cultural change. The decision of the american soccer federation a few months ago equalize the salaries of the men’s and women’s teams, is in this case a decision of common sense and I would even dare to say that it may fall short. This decision has also brought with it a compensation of 24 million dollars and that settles this dispute that began in 2016 with a complaint that five players from the national team (Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn and Hope Solo) filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for wage discrimination.
In the United States, they are advancing by leaps and bounds in favor of equality, but these steps are not only based on feminist demands. These steps are supported by the fact that it is currently one of the few countries where the USMNT (Men’s National Team), raises and generates less money than the USFNT (Women’s National Team). It responds to an objective criterion that female athletes should earn the same or more than their male colleagues if the media and economic impact is greater. In my opinion, this case, in addition to being a victory for women’s sports, is also a victory for common sense and distances classic arguments such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi earning much more than the highest-paid female footballer. It is not a question of sex but of economic criteria.
Where if I agree, it is the claim that sport and specifically women’s football, does not generate that impact since it is not given adequate visibility or the necessary business development to compete on the same grid as men’s. In this sense, we found a project on the west coast of the United States, which is breaking the mold. We talk about Angel City FC led by Natalie Portman.
On a sporting level, this club still has a lot to prove and although it opened with victory in front of more than 22,000 fans who attended the opening match of Angel City FC at the Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles still has promise. Where, of course, it has stood out is in the media impact that it has generated from the first minute and that allows American women’s soccer to gain that visibility on a global level.
In addition to Natalie Portman, this project has been joined by other famous female faces from Hollywood and the music industry as Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria Gabrielle Union, Jessica Chastain, Becky G, Christina Aguilera and athletes like Billie Jean King, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm Serena Williams, Lindsey Vonn and Abby Wambach.
The president and co-founder of Angel City, Julie Uhrman affirmed “Now we are going to build the club with authenticity, thinking of it as a brand”. A vision away from sentimentality and focused on exploiting a link that already exists and grows continuously. Last November, a record 525,000 viewers tuned in to watch the NWSL final, a 216% increase from the 2019 final.
The club has also developed an industry-first sponsorship program to attract brands not traditionally aligned with sports and is finding new ways to support its players on and off the pitch.
The Angel City project seeks to change the culture and fight against any form of harassment or discrimination, but with solid business planning focused on the profitability of the project. A team that has emerged as a start up from Silicon Valleywith large investors and venture capital and that only time will tell if this will be the model that will succeed in women’s football.