How Nike won the battle of the brands at the Women's World Cup

David Cooper - Writer 09:04 09/07/2019
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Megan Rapinoe scores the opening goal in the Women's World Cup final wearing the new Nike Mercurial boot.

The Women’s World Cup may be over, but it has undeniably captured the attention of the sporting world.

With more than 1m people attending games in France, and more than 1bn watching worldwide the resounding success of the tournament has resonated on many levels.

And while the job on the pitch for Megan Rapinoe and her US colleagues may be done, there is still much to do in terms of growing the game and attempting to close the gaps on disparities with the men’s game.

One of them is the commercial sphere.

With sponsorship levels in the men’s game growing exponentially, the same has not always been the case for women.

However, with a growing global audience many are now sitting up and taking notice.

When it comes to sportswear and equipment, Nike are leading the way.

Going into the tournament, they were the the sponsors for 14 of the 24 teams, adidas were in second with six – no other manufacturer sponsored more than one nation.

The final ended up being an all-Nike showpiece with the US taking on the Netherlands, after the Swoosh was visible on three of the final four teams in the competition.

It was in the final Nike had their on-field of their new Mercurial boot, with six players including opening scorer Rapinoe, donning the new footwear.

Throughout the competition more than half the minutes played across all matches were done so by players in Nike boots.

45% of goals were scored by women in Nike boots, and 54% of player of the match awards went to Nike athletes.

These numbers stack up.

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To top it all off, they cleaned up in the individual awards too.

Rapinoe was the Player of the Tournament, with Lucy Bronze second. The US captain doubled up by winning the Golden Boot as highest goalscorer, with team mate Alex Morgan just behind her.

Finally, FIFA Young Player of the tournament was Giulia Gwinn of Germany.

Nike backed big at the World Cup, and won big too.

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