As Adidas Announces Equal Bonuses for All World Cup Athletes, Women’s Group Calls on Nike to Do the Same

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

CONTACT: Madison Donzis |

As Adidas Announces Equal Bonuses for All World Cup Athletes, Women’s Group Calls on Nike to Do the Same 

Last week, on International Women’s Day, all 28 members of the world champion United States women’s soccer team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation, saying that they are required to play more games than the men’s team, win more of them, and yet still receive less pay from the federation.

Coinciding with the lawsuit, Adidas issued an announcement that any Adidas-sponsored players on the U.S. Women’s National Team would receive the same performance bonuses as their male counterparts. Recent USWNT call-ups that are known Adidas athletes include mid-fielders Lindsey Horan and Morgan Brian. Earlier this year, Nike released a new TV spot featuring Serena Williams acknowledging the tremendous contributions of female athletes to their respective sports.

Shaunna Thomas, Executive Director of UltraViolet, a leading national women’s advocacy organization, issued the following statement calling on Nike to follow in Adidas’ footsteps: 

“The U.S. women’s soccer team is the best in the worldwith three World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medalsand they have brought tremendous prestige to U.S. soccer and inspired a passion for sports in young women across the world. 

“Adidas made the right call by promising to pay the World Cup-winning players it sponsors equal bonuses to their peers on the men’s team, and its show of solidarity with the women’s team will not go unnoticed.

“That’s why now is the time for Nikewho sponsors players Alex Morgan, Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heathto name a fewto step up and do the right thing by following in Adidas’ footsteps. Nike should pledge to pay the USWNT players it sponsors performance bonuses that are commensurate to those of men’s team. 

“Equal pay for equal play is a no-brainer, Nike. Just do it.”

In 2015, Ultraviolet pressured FIFA to close the pay gap after the 2015 Women’s World Cup champions netted only $2 million for their win, while the winners of the 2014 men’s World Cup netted $35 million. In contrast, the U.S. men’s team was awarded a whopping $8 million prize after losing in the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup. As part of the effort, more than 72,000 UltraViolet members signed onto a petition urging FIFA demanding equal pay for the U.S. Women’s National soccer team.

In 2016, during the women’s soccer finals at the Rio Olympics, UltraViolet ran a TV ad calling for the U.S. Women’s National soccer team players to receive equal pay for equal play.

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