Following their historic 2022 Euros win, the England Lionesses have reaped the benefits.
The stars of that squad — most notably, Leah Williamson, Chloe Kelly and Beth Mead — have graced the covers of magazines like Grazia and Hello!, done advertisements for brands like McDonald’s and presented awards.
“It feels like I’m managing a celebrity more than a footballer at the minute,” one player agent told The Athletic. “They’re demanding just as much — possibly even more — money than the male players. Brands and celebrities are passing on their numbers.”
According to The Athletic, one of the players is so popular that she needs three full-time staff members managing her commitments.
The players’ earnings have also grown as a result. Some agents described offers in the six figures, whereas before the tournament, “it wouldn’t have been anywhere near that.” Another player reportedly had to turn down a brand offering 5,000 pounds.
“After the Euros, our feet didn’t touch the ground for months,” the agent continued. “We had so many requests from so many different areas — areas that previously we’d been trying to push doors down in.
“Two days after the final, we booked in a day with our players where we had to sit down with pages and pages of requests. We had loads of big brands, including some that hadn’t done much work in women’s football, wanting to work with them.”
The increased popularity of the players is evidenced by their social media followings. Ella Toone gained 158,000 followers in the seven days after the final, while Leah Williamson’s account grew by 88,000 and Chloe Kelly’s by 68,000.
Nearly every player reported double-digit increases in their follower counts throughout the tournament.
Doors continue to open for players, including for those who didn’t play as many minutes.
“The players that scored the most goals and got the most assists are always going to get more attention,” an agent told The Athletic. “But it’s helped elevate players who haven’t got as many minutes to a point where they’re able to stand on their own two feet as Lionesses and get commercial partnerships. It helps them to get in the room. More brands are open to working in women’s football.”