Why equal pay in men's and women's sport lies in sponsorship support
As women's sport continues to break new barriers, conversations over the pay disparity between professional male and female athletes have been amplified.
In South Africa, the gender pay parity discussion has been heightened after Banyana Banyana's recent historic Women's Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) win.
The win came as bittersweet news because as much as it brought pride to the country, it also highlighted the pay parity between Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.
Currently, the United States is the only country in the world where its national men's and women's teams receive the same payment for the same sport and it's become clear that the world should follow suit.
So how do we do that? In short - the answer seems to lie in sponsorship.
Payment on a pragmatic level, for Bet Central editor Carl Lewis comes down to the numbers and their impact on the amount sponsors are willing to invest in teams - especially when you look at the modelling of men's football since its professionalisation in 1995.
Even though men's football continues to dominate in terms of viewership and game attendance, Lewis says that it's clear to see that women's football, and women's sport in general, is experiencing the largest amount of growth in the industry currently.
This is why the founder of Badgers Football Academy - Romaney Pinnock, highlights the importance of doing gendered statistics between men's and women's sports so that the industry can build strategies around how to further that growth to encourage sponsors to invest more in women's sport.
Again, if we were to look at the origins of men's football and the way it was modelled to become one of the biggest behemoths in sport, Pinnock says that we can do the same for women's football, even if there is an initial dip in profitability for sponsors.
Men's football was at this stage, at some point. So, we're just at a different point in the graph in terms of that growth, that revenue... You can model it, it's not rocket science. Yes, the women might be behind in pay, at the moment, but we can definitely get there.Romaney Pinnock, founder - Badgers Football Academy
If we do say 'we're doing equal pay, right now' and you have to live through a dip, through a loss, but you forecasted and you know where its going, then what's the problem? You're going to catch up.Romaney Pinnock, founder - Badgers Football Academy
Lewis seems to agree with Pinnock that the industry should build its model around the growth and domination of men's football due to capitalism's insatiable need for growth - which is clearly happening the most with women's football.
The one thing we can be optimistic about, and Romaney touched on it earlier, is that soccer's also been in this place where women's football is... we've seen the men's game growth and with capitalism's insatiable need for growth, women's sport is the next frontier... Women's sport is the new focus and the new area for actual growth.Carl Lewis, editor - Bet Central
As Pinnock says, even if the involvement of capitalism may taint the authenticity of women's sport, that can be used as an advantage because, at the end of the day, anything someone decides to market, we can sell.
Listen to the full audio above.
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