The Lioness’s share: England women’s squad are set to rake in MILLIONS in sponsorship deals – but pay gap row rumbles on as they’re paid £405,000 less than their male counterparts
- Branding experts believe some England stars could make as much as £4.5million
- They believe England heroes could rake in money through sponsorship deals
- Average WSL players earn around £30,000-a-year, just a fraction of male stars
- But figures show there is growing interest in women’s game and it could grow
England’s Lionesses are set for bumper sponsorship pay-outs following their historic Euro 2022 win.
Branding chiefs believe the Lionesses – who last night beat Germany 2-1 to become the first England side to win a major tournament since 1966 – could pocket millions of pounds in sponsorship deals in the wake of their monumental victory.
On an individual level, experts believe England stars could be set for significant pay-days off the back of last night’s historic win.
David Olusegun, CEO of Creative Control Ventures, believes top stars such as Arsenal’s Leah Williamson could net as much as £4million, while England’s 23-year-old semi-final backheel hero Alessia Russo could take home £2.5million.
Williamson, 25, is already believed to be worth around £4million, with an estimated £150,000-a-year contract with Arsenal and a host of sponsorship deals, including with drinks brand Pepsi and sportswear giant Nike.
Meanwhile, Barcelona star Lucy Bronze, 30, who already has lucrative deals with firms including Pepsi, EE and Visa, could pocket another £2million, predict experts.
Mr Olusegun told MailOnline: ‘The players will now have the platform to make significant earnings off the back of the competition as they have so heroically captured the hearts and minds of the nation and put the rising stars of the women’s game firmly in the sponsorship spotlight.
‘We will see an influx from brands to invest into women’s football and partner with specific players as brand ambassadors to front campaigns and get a considerable earnings potential.
Branding chiefs believe the Lionesses – who last night beat Germany 2-1 to become the first England side (pictured) to win a major tournament since 1966 – could pocket millions of pounds in sponsorship deals in the wake of their monumental victory
The Lionesses’ are each set to receive a £55,000 bonuses for winning Euro 2022. Pictured: England Victory Celebrations in Trafalgar Square, London,
‘The success from the Euros will increase the profiles of the players and they have all experienced exponential growth in their social followings, which brands will be very keen to tap into.
‘Women’s football has limited traditional media airtime, and they now have ample content to leverage off the buzz from the win which will allow brands to interact with women’s football’s digitally savvy fans.
‘Winning won’t be the only factor which will have a “huge impact” on the sums they are offered.
‘Players will have to keep growing their social followings, as brands will take that into consideration when offering deals.
How much England’s star players stand to make after historic Euro 2022 win
• Alessia Russo – £2.5m
• Beth Mead – £2m
• Leah Williamson – £4m
• Lucy Bronze – £2m
*Estimates by experts
‘The majority of the players could bank endorsement deals north of £100,000 each, and star players such as Alessia Russo, Beth Mead and Leah Williamson will have their pick of commercial deals and will command much more in the region of £1million upwards from brands.’
Mr Olusegun believes England’s stars will have offers from a variety of brands, including lifestyle, food, clothing, sports hydration drink brands, car manufacturers, food firms, esports, gaming companies, finance firms, among others.
‘Global brands such as Nike, Adidas and Pepsi will be offering multi-year deals to the stand-out Lionesses worth millions,’ he added.
Alongside sponsorship deals, all of Sarina Wiegman’s side are set to be awarded a £55,000 bonus from the FA from winning the tournament.
However it is believed that the FA had offered bonuses of around £460,000 last year to England’s Men’s side had they beaten Italy in the final.
Meanwhile, some Lionesses stars are already earning relatively large earnings from the game.
Right-back Bronze, already a household name having seen success at Lyon, Manchester City and having recently joined Barcelona, is already believed to be on a £200,000-a-year salary with the Catalan side.
The 30-year-old Northumberland born defender, twice named BBC Sports’ Women’s Footballer of the Year, also has sponsorship deals with a number of top firms, including Pepsi, EE and Visa
England captain, Williamson, another household name, is also believed to be worth in the region of £4million.
And the 25-year-old Arsenal star, who is believed to be on a £150,000-a-year- contract and has pre-existing sponsorship deals with Pepsi and Nike, could earn another £4million, say experts.
England’s match winner Chloe Kelly could be one of the big winners. The 24-year-old Manchester City star recently penned a new contract with her club. It is not clear what her new salary is.
Currently, Chelsea’s Australian striker Sam Kerr is believed to be the highest paid women in the WSL, with a salary of around £400,000-a-year.
She is believed to have taken over as the top earner in women’s football, a title which is previously believed to have belonged to American Carli Lloyd.
But the 28-year-old, who netted 32 times last season to help Chelsea to the WSL title, is still an exception, and not the rule.
Stars such as right-back Lucy Bronze (pictured), already a household name having seen success at Lyon, Manchester City and having recently joined Barcelona, is already believed to be on a £200,000 a year salary. Pictured right: Alessia Russo of England celebrates ta the full time whistle during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match b
Pictured left: Beth Mead of England poses with her player of the tournament and top scorer awards during the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 final match between England and Germany. Pictured right: Leah Williamson, another household name, is also believed to be worth in the region of £4million. The 25-year-old Arsenal star, who is believed to be on a £150,000-a-year- contract and has pre-existing sponsorship deals with Pepsi and Nike
Some believe last night’s win could be a turning point in the Women’s game in England.
Just six years ago England’s top league – the Women’s Super League (WSL) – turned professional. And it was not uncommon for even the top female stars to take up second jobs while playing international football.
Players now earn an average of £30,000-a-year playing in the WSL while topping up their annual pay packets with sponsorship agreements, brand deals, social media links and fees for international appearances.
But even then, female footballers are still earning just a fraction of their male counterparts, whom earn as much as £500,000-a-week.
And while the Lionesses’ are each set to receive a £55,000 bonuses for winning Euro 2022, it is thought to be around £405,000 less than their male counterparts had they won their Euro 2020 final against Italy.
The total prize money for the Women’s Euro 2022 is an eye-catching £13.7million.
However, England will reportedly receive a total of £1.3m pay-out for winning the competition – a sharp contrast to the £28.5 million received by Italy for winning the men’s equivalent last year.
There is already pay equality with men in terms of international appearance fees, set at around £2,000 per match – though these are often donated to charity.
The FA insist there is a gender pay equality between the Women’s and Men’s international sides and has been since at least January 2020.
England’s match winner Chloe Kelly could be one of the big winners. The 24-year-old Manchester City star recently penned a new contract with her club. It is not clear what her new salary is
The average salary in the WSL is believed to be around £30,000-a-year.
This is a fraction of the salaries paid to male footballers in the Premier League – where the average salary is believed to be around £60,000-a-week – or £3.1million-a-year.
The WSL average puts it roughly in line with salaries in League 2 – the fourth tier of men’s professional football.
Even then, average salaries are still higher, at around £2,000-a-week, while former Premier League striker David Nugent reportedly earned £12,000-a-week playing for Tranmere in 2020.
The disparity in pay is, as most experts point out, due to Men’s football being long established, having turned professional as a sport in 1885.
Though, even then, salaries were still relatively modest (by today’s standards) until the invention of the Premier League and multi-billion TV rights deals in the early 1990s.
However while historical success and considerably larger audience for Men’s football is the primary reason for large-scale pay-disparity when compared to the women’s game, that appears to be changing.
Last night, a record crowd of 87,192 were in attendance at Wembley Stadium for last night’s final, beating the highest total recorded in either the men’s or women’s editions of the tournament.
Meanwhile, England’s Euro 2022 final win over Germany was watched by a peak BBC One television audience of 17.4 million, making it the most-watched women’s football game on UK television.
A peak television audience of 9.3million tuned in to watch England beat Sweden in semi-final.
According to figures by IPSOS, 32 per cent of women now describe themselves as ‘football fans’, compared to 64 per cent of men.
And over half (57%) of the British public said it was interested in the tournament – increasing to 4 in 5 amongst football fans.
Uefa is hoping to break even more records in the future by reaching over 250 million viewers globally thanks to multiple broadcast deals across 195 territories.
And larger TV audiences will likely lead to more competition and more money on TV rights deals, which in turn could also push up players wages and sponsorship deals.
According to one PR expert, Natalie Trice, England’s win could be a turning point in the women’s game.
But she said more investment was needed in the grassroots game and to tackle gender pay inequality in football going forward.
Ms Trice, who runs Devon Price Public Relations, told MailOnline: ‘Yesterday will go down as a moment in history not only for women in football but women in general, however, for change to happen and progress to made, it’s got to happen from the grass roots up and it’s got to be for good no just in this post-celebration moment.
‘It’s all very well, and clearly deserved, to offer those at the top of their game sponsorship deals and bonuses, but for long lasting change and to pass down the strength grit and tenacity for women and girls across the world, we need to use this moment to empower the many not the few.
According to one PR expert, Natalie Trice (pictured), England’s win could be a turning point in the women’s game. But she said more investment was needed in the grassroots game and to tackle gender pay inequality in football going forward
‘Gone are the days of female football being on the side-lines; the Lioness ‘bought it home’ and what we need now is proactive action, positive change and investment that will put these women on the map and celebrate them as the strong change makers they are.
‘We also need inspire others to get their boots on and find their way onto the pitch even when the rhetoric is that football is for the boys, which clearly isn’t the case.
‘This is no longer the time for the Lionesses to be buying their own kits and boots or to be paid less than their male counterparts.
‘It’s shocking that the gender pay gap is so huge in the world of football and if the likes of Ian Wright can applaud them from the commentary box, we need those figures to stand up and make change happen rather than simply paying lip service and move into the men heading to Qatar later this year and this window of opportunity is lost.
I hope that this moment and win will leverage contracts and deals that will not only benefit the major players but allow their message to reach the girls and young women who were watching last night and were shown that they really can do this.’
Who are the highest earners playing at Euro2022?
By Jo Tweedy for MailOnline
LUCY BRONZE, ENGLAND
Earnings: Around £200,000 a year from club football plus lucrative endorsements with Soccer Supplement, Pepsi and EE, Team Visa and Klarna
30-year-old defender Lucy Bronze, one of the best players England has produced, has enjoyed a string of partnerships with non sporting brands keen to collaborate, swelling her club football earnings
Bronze, who’s just signed for Barcelona, regularly updates her 309,000 followers with collaborations with brands including Klarna, Visa and Pepsi. The star, pictured with a pet, will see her profile soar if England prosper at the Euros
Defender Lucy Bronze is widely regarded as one of the best players that grass roots football in the UK has ever produced – and was named FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year 2020.
After playing in Lyon for £140,000 a year, the England star, who was raised in Berwick-upon-Tweed, moved to Manchester City before announcing she’ll play for Barcelona next season, moving for an undisclosed sum.
Arguably part of the first generation to reap financial rewards from the kind of endorsements that male athletes have long benefited from, the 30-year-old has a string of partnerships swelling her club football salary.
Bronze’s 309,000-strong Instagram fans are privy to collaborations with major non sporting brands including Pepsi, EE, Team Visa and Klarna. The star is also an ambassador for Soccer Supplement, a performance nutrition company.
Bronze will see her profile – and earning potential – rise further if England prosper at the Euros.
ADA HEGERBERG, NORWAY
Earnings: £343,000 a year plus ten-year deal with Nike worth ‘over a million’
Norwegian forward Ada Hegerberg plays for Olympique Lyonnais Féminin, one of Europe’s highest paying clubs – and alongside her salary of £343,000, she also earns from big name endorsements, including Nike, as well as appearance fees for Norway
The striking blonde Norwegian forward remains one of the biggest names in the game, and plays for one of the best-paying clubs, Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
The 32-year-old was the first athlete to be awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or Feminin in 2018 and remains vital to the Norwegian squad, who are hopeful of a late-stage place in the competition.
Alongside her salary of £343,000, her pedigree on the pitch means she’s in high demand for collaborations, with a paid partnership with Nike posted on her Instagram stories on the first day of the tournament.
Silverware: The 32-year-old was the first athlete to be awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or Feminin in 2018
The star is married to a fellow Norwegian pro, Thomas Pauck Rogne, 32, who currently plays for Greek club Apollon Smyrnis
In 2020, the soccer star was thought to have secured a ten-year deal with the US sportswear brand that was worth in excess of £1million – giving her an additional six-figures annually. She has previously been an ambassador for Puma.
Aware of her global appeal, her Instagram posts are written in English rather than her native Norwegian.
The star is married to a fellow Norwegian pro, Thomas Pauck Rogne, 32, who currently plays for Greek club Apollon Smyrnis. The couple married in 2019.
VIVIANNE MIEDEMA, NETHERLANDS
Earnings: £250,000 year plus endorsements with Adidas
Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema, 25, is thought to be the highest paid player in the English Women’s Super League, taking home £250,000 a year
Miedema, who’s dating Arsenal teammate Lisa Evans (pictured), became the first player to reach 100 goal contributions in the WSL – and has a long-term deal to promote Adidas
Thought to be the highest earning playing in the Women’s Super League, Miedema, who signed a new £250,000 contract for Arsenal earlier this year, is widely considered to be one of the best players at the tournament.
The Dutch attacking player has a long-term partnership with Adidas and boasts 369,000 followers on Instagram.
In March, the 25-year-old, who’s dating Arsenal teammate Lisa Evans, became the first player to reach 100 goal contributions in the WSL and the striker already knows what it feels like to lift the Euros trophy, The Netherlands won the tournament in 2017.
KADIDIATOU DIANI, FRANCE
Earnings: £308,000 a year plus endorsements with Nike and Adidas
Diani, 27, who plays for Paris Saint Germain has 153,000 followers on Instagram and has carved out successful deals with both Adidas and Nike, including her own footwear line
With a salary of over £300,000, the French forward is amongst Europe’s highest paid women players (Pictured arriving for a Euros training camp in June)
The French forward, who plays in the country’s capital for Paris Saint-Germain, has over 153,000 followers on Instagram, helping her carve out successful deals with both Adidas and Nike, including her own footwear line for the latter.
One of Europe’s highest paid players, with an annual salary of over £300,000, Diani, 27, secured a three-year extension to her contract with PSG in 2020, turning down an offer from Olympique Lyonnais.
LIEKE MARTENS, THE NETHERLANDS
Earnings: £214,000 a year plus endorsements with Nike and jewellery brand Zinzi
Dutch footballing superstar Lieke Martens saw her profile – and her pay packet – rise after being named player of the tournament for the 2017 Euros
As well as being an ambassador for Nike, she’s also the face of ethical Dutch jewellery brand Zinzi
Martens pictured with fiance Benjamin van Leer, who plays for Sparta Rotterdam; the couple announced their engagement in November 2021
Player of the tournament in 2017, when her native Holland won the Euros, Martens watched her bankability soar afterwards, with major sports brands signing her up and her Instagram followers shooting up – she currently has 1.3million.
Now 29, the midfielder is still expected to be crucial in the coming weeks as her squad look to defend their title, and she remains an ambassador for Nike sportwear and has previously had a memorabilia deal with Icons.com.
Elsewhere, Martens, who also plays at Paris Saint-Germain and before that turned out for Barcelona, is the face of Zinzi, an ethical Dutch jewellery brand.
With endorsements and her wages from the national squad plus a PSG annual salary, Martens remains one of Europe’s best paid players.
WENDIE RENARD, FRANCE
Earnings: £298,000 a year plus an endorsement deal with Adidas
Deals with Mastercard and Adidas – including modelling a Stella McCartney range have seen Wendie Renard’s club salary topped up
The 6ft 1 defender is currently an Adidas ambassador, and earns £298,000 as a player at Olympique Lyonnais
Regularly in the top ten for the best paid female football players in the world, Wendie Renard, who plays in Lyon and is a statuesque 6ft 1, has just a World Cup to win to cap an illustrious career.
With 217,000 Instagram followers, Renard hasn’t got the biggest social media profile, but she has enjoyed big money endorsements with Mastercard and Adidas, including modelling Stella McCartney’s edit for the sportswear brand.
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