U.S. Wins Women’s World Cup, Proves Women’s Soccer Has Millions of Fans

USA Women

USA Women

U-S-A! U-S-A! The United States Women’s National Team defeated Japan 5-2 to win its third World Cup on Sunday, its first title since the 1999 team won it all and changed women’s sports forever. The U.S. was led by Captain Carli Lloyd, who scored three goals in 16 minutes in what many are calling the greatest World Cup final performance ever by a soccer player, male or female.

As USA Today’s Nancy Armour put it, “A decade from now, teenage girls—and boys—will recall where they were when this group of strong, powerful women brought an entire country to a standstill.” It was a beautiful thing to watch.

And watch it America did. 24.5 million viewerstuned into the game on Fox, making it the most-watched soccer game in United States history—and that includes all the games from the men’s World Cup last year. The women’s final also got more viewers than Game 6 of the NBA Finals earlier this year.

Unfortunately, most companies failed to predict that the Women’s World Cup would be this popular, and Fox only lined up $17 million in corporate sponsorships for the tournament—a pittance compared to the $529 million ESPN got for broadcasting the men’s World Cup last year. Partly as a result of the lack of interest from advertisers, the U.S. women’s team earned just $2 million for winning the World Cup. In contrast, men’s teams who lost in the first round of the 2014 World Cup earned $8 millionGermany took home $35 million for winning it all.

We agree with Mary Pilon at Politico: “Given the uptick in female sports fans and the undeniable power of women consumers, it’s surprising that marketers have yet to see the potential.” Until they get with the times, you can show them what they’re missing by voting with your dollars, and watching our world champions play on their local teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. Carli Lloyd’s Houston Dash are playing the Chicago Red Stars this Saturday, and tickets are as low as $15. We’re just sayin’.