England’s footballers could make millions of pounds in sponsorship on the back of their run to the Women’s Euro 2022 final.
Sarina Wiegman’s side have cruised through the competition to reach Wembley, where they will take on Germany on Sunday.
The players each receive £2,000 per match from the Football Association (one of the few financials which matches the men’s team), and should they win the tournament, each player will receive a £55,000 bonus, but that would pale in comparison to the potential money to be made from sponsorship deals.
With record numbers tuning in to watch – 11 million viewers saw England thrash Sweden in Tuesday’s semi-final – there has never been a better opportunity for commercial gain in women’s football.
While the best women’s players earn as much as £200,000 per year, that number is closer to a weekly wage at the top of the men’s game. But individual sponsorship deals can close that gap. Defender Lucy Bronze has endorsement deals with Pepsi and Visa, while captain Leah Williamson has recently agreed a deal with Gucci, the same fashion house which also signed Jack Grealish.
“The Lionesses have provided the perfect shop window for brands looking for potential for sponsorship in their marketing campaigns,” Lisa Parfitt, co-founder of sports marketing agency The Space Between, told the BBC. “Women’s football has enormous reach, but women’s sport fans are far more likely to be an advocate for a brand’s sponsors, and far more likely to buy those brands’ products.”
After former Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg signed a £1m deal with Nike, the opportunities are clearer than ever for players to make money beyond their club salaries.