AMAZING: United broke women’s club-sales records after signing Press and her fellow United States forward Tobin Heath. Their online store sold six times more women’s team-related products than their previous monthly record.
Manchester United’s Christen Press says the recent growth in women’s-team related merchandise makes her proud of how far the women’s game has come.
“That’s great to hear,” Press told BBC Sport, “Part of our job is fighting for the respect for women’s sports.
“So to hear that jersey sales go up and that there are great fans in the women’s game makes me very proud of how far the game has come in the United States and hopefully here in England.”
But it seems this a trend replicated across all the women’s game, according to leading licensed retailer Fanatics.
The company claims that their global sales of women’s sport merchandise have increased by 600% so far this year compared to three years ago. And it says big-name signings have created a new revenue stream for sides, with Press and Heath among five World Cup-winning US internationals to join English Women’s Super League (WSL) teams this summer.
“I think it says a lot about the women’s game, this football club and those players in terms of what they’ve achieved in the game and the fan base they’ve got across the US,” United head coach Casey Stoney said.
“It’s massively positive because, not only does it mean that people are putting female players names on the back of their shirts, it means that there’s revenue coming back in and that just helps us as a club.”
Heath and Press have been joined in the WSL by international team-mates Alex Morgan, who has joined Tottenham, and Manchester City pair Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle.
“Women’s merchandise is one of the fastest growing areas of our business and we believe it presents a big opportunity for clubs across Europe,” Fanatics’ co-president Jack Boyle told BBC Sport.
“The impressive merchandise sales that we have seen this summer from clubs in the WSL reinforce a trend we have been seeing across all sport throughout the last three years, with sales in the first eight months of this year across women’s merchandise up 600% compared to 2017.
“Women have traditionally been underserved as sports fans by the industry, with many clubs only offering limited choice, historically often only in men’s sizes and styles. Working with our partners we have expanded the range and availability for women sports fans and our clubs are now beginning to really see the rewards in doing so.”
Fanatics operate more than 300 online and offline stores, on behalf of major professional sports leagues including the NFL, MLB and NBA, as well as club stores for teams including Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
Growth in women’s football merchandise sales in 2020 so far has been strong for clubs, and on the international stage records have also been set in recent years. So, just want to congratulate them as it’s great to see that women’s football keeps breaking record after record, in their quest for a more equal and diverse football game.