As FIFA battles to salvage its reputation, women's football is emerging as the sport sponsors are keen to support. Ciara Lee reports on the rise in popularity of the FIFA Women's World Cup, and how Nike is throwing its weight behind it.
Nike unveils its latest campaign. The #NoMaybes advert features the U.S. football team and coincides with the start of the FIFA Women's World Cup. It's a tricky time for football's governing body and indeed its sponsors. Scandal-plagued FIFA is under investigation from the FBI over bribery and corruption charges. But women's football could provide a ray of light. Both Nike and Adidas are looking to the Women's World Cup to help them achieve their 2015 sales goals. During the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, more than 400 million people tuned in around the world. And viewings for the final increased by nearly 200 percent in the U.S. from four years earlier. Philip Cunha is a writer for Business of Soccer. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHILLIP CUNHA, CPA, SENIOR WRITER, BUSINESS OF SOCCER, SAYING: "The whole campaign focuses on the women in practice, in training, preparing for the World Cup, working through adversity, inspiring the youth of the nation and really trying to prepare themselves to take home the trophy." Nike may be the number on sporting goods maker, but it's under pressure in the football world to keep up with Adidas - a major FIFA sponsor. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PHILLIP CUNHA, CPA, SENIOR WRITER, BUSINESS OF SOCCER, SAYING: "Adidas pretty much created the soccer market early on in the 1900s. Nike really just came in in 1994 when the United States hosted the first World Cup on U.S. soil. From there, they've just completely changed the game, completely disrupted it, made their own lane, obtained a significant amount of high-profile players and really developed their own style, a high-flying, entertaining style that really is embodied within the brand. So they've done a great job. I see them continuing to take a significant amount of the market." For now though, focus is on who will bring home the 2015 trophy. The Women's World Cup final on July 5th reportedly sold out within 72 hours.