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Survey: USWNT more widely known than men’s team among fans

(Brad Smith/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

The U.S. women’s national team is more recognizable than the men’s national team, according to a new survey conducted by NRG Sports.

The survey found that 41% of U.S. sports fans intend to watch this year’s Women’s World Cup, in line with the 42% who said they watched the 2022 Men’s World Cup. That represents a significant jump from four years ago, as just 25% of U.S. fans reported having watching the 2019 World Cup, which the USWNT won.

“The success of the USWNT demonstrates how the unprecedented growth of women’s soccer is so much more than a singular moment, but rather a continuous movement impacting fans around the country,” NRG sports head Jay Kaufman said in a statement. “It’s clear that affinity towards the USWNT and women’s soccer overall is spearheading the significant changes we are seeing in viewership, pay equity, and popularity across women’s sports.”

The report also found that:

  • 85% of fans feel a greater or equal amount of pride in the women’s team compared to the men’s team
  • 67% feel equal pride between the two teams
  • 18% said they are more proud of the women’s team
  • 15% said they are more proud of the men’s team

Additionally, 74% of soccer fans and 64% of sports fans view the growing popularity and success of the NWSL as inspiring young girls to take more of an interest in sports. Meanwhile, 42% of U.S. sports fans believe the NWSL’s success is driving interest in the World Cup.

“The skyrocketing global growth of women’s soccer and the momentum around the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup reinforces how leagues and teams can have measurable impact and really move the needle when they give fans the opportunity to both engage with relatable athletes and witness world class competition,” said NWSL chief marketing officer Julie Haddon.

The USWNT plays the Netherlands on Wednesday night with a chance at taking control of Group E and moving into the knockout rounds with the hopes of winning a third straight World Cup title.