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Nike Responds to Criticism by Launching Women’s Goalkeeper Jerseys After Women's World Cup.

Roger Hampel

FOT: Instagram / @1maryearps

A Turn of Events Following Mary Earps’ Disapproval

In a significant change of strategy, sportswear giant Nike has decided to sell goalkeeper jerseys from the recent Women's World Cup. This move comes after pointed criticism from various quarters, including Mary Earps, the English National Women's Team goalkeeper. Earps had called out the apparel brand for not offering her jersey for sale to fans, describing the situation as "hurtful."

The Announcement

Nike stated that "limited quantities" of goalkeeper jerseys from teams like England, USA, France, and the Netherlands would soon be available for purchase on the respective federations' websites. Previously, these jerseys were not publicly sold, prompting displeasure from many supporters. The brand acknowledged that it had not met the demands of fans who had wanted to buy these jerseys to express their team loyalty.

A Strong Statement from Mary Earps

Mary Earps, who had been named the best goalkeeper at the Women’s World Cup, spoke openly about her disappointment. "I can't sugarcoat it; it's deeply disheartening and painful," she said. Earps was particularly concerned about young fans who would ask their parents for her jersey and be told that it's not available, thereby indirectly minimizing the importance of the goalkeeper's role in soccer.

Future Commitments by Nike

Nike, in its statement, affirmed its dedication to growing women's soccer and assured fans that the issue had been taken seriously. The brand said, "We’ve seen and share the enormous excitement and interest in women’s soccer this year. We are committed to selling women’s goalkeeper jerseys for major tournaments in the future."

Other Brands Remain Silent

Interestingly, other major sportswear brands like Adidas and Puma have not yet ventured into the women's goalkeeper jersey market. Adidas, which provided kits for 10 teams during the tournament, and Puma, which kitted out Morocco and Switzerland, did not offer replicas for fans. However, smaller brands like Hummel and Castore, which produced jerseys for Denmark and Ireland respectively, have already released replica goalkeeper jerseys.

The Takeaway

The situation sheds light on the need for bigger sports apparel brands to take women’s sports seriously, not just in sponsorship but also in merchandise. Nike's U-turn indicates a step in the right direction, demonstrating the company's adaptability in responding to consumer demands and criticism alike.

Source: The Athletic


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