Proctor & Gamble has committed to purchasing 9,000 tickets to help boost attendance at National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) games this season, tying the effort to its Secret deodorant brand. The ticket purchases will come in blocks of 1,000, one at each home stadium for the nine teams in the league. The tickets will be offered to women’s organizations and sports teams to encourage support for women’s sports, according to a piece in MediaPost.
The total investment comes to approximately $200,000, according to sportsbusiness.com.
“As a brand for women run by women, we wholeheartedly believe women should not have to sweat gender inequality,” read a statement from Secret associate brand director Sara Saunders. The effort, according to Saunders, is Secret’s way of helping “ensure that female athletes have a platform to play and get the attention they deserve.”
Secret, which is marketed towards active women, has been a supporter of the NWSL and women’s soccer in recent years. In July, it donated $529,000 to members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team, which was and remains embroiled in a dispute over the pay disparity between it and the U.S. Men’s National team.
According to the MediaPost article, ESPN salary data indicates that the NWSL has a minimum salary of $16,538 and a max of $46,200. In Major League Soccer, the salary range begins at $56,250, with one star making $7.2 million.
Attendance has been on the rise for the NWSL, but still lags behind the men’s professional league, which has existed since 1996. In its inaugural season in 2013, the league averaged 4,270 fans at each contest. A year ago, that number had risen to 6,024. Now, in the wake of the USWNT’s World Cup victory, attendance has risen by 19% to 7,196.
The first block of tickets from the P&G/Secret campaign will be for today’s contest between the North Carolina Courage and Houston Dash. Secret is also expected to be on-hand at each such game with brand activation activities like t-shirts and other giveaways.