The NWSL estimates that three-quarters of its players earn $31,000 or less versus their male counterparts in the Major Soccer League who earn an average of almost $400,000. UKG is donating more than $1 million to NWSL as a way to increase the winnings of female players competing in the NWSL Challenge Cup. UKG is sponsoring that tournament.
The 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup is being touted as the first women’s professional soccer tournament that will ensure female players reach pay equity. For this year’s Challenge Cup, the UKG’s donation lifted each winning players’ earnings from $1,000 to $10,000.
Separately, the NWSL boosted its players’ minimum salary from $22,000 to $35,000 and inked the organization’s first collective bargaining agreement this year.