The 2019 Women's World Cup might be over, but the legacy of this tournament is a significant one that will live on for a generation. It was a tournament that epitomised growth, none more so than the dominant pairing of the USWNT and Nike, which together, lifted the game into new ground as well as the trophy into the Lyon sky. Here we take a look at some of the stats that explain how the Swoosh reigned supreme in France this summer.

For a tournament sponsored by rivals adidas, you could have said that Nike were on the backfoot from the start, but thanks to carefully calculated campaigns, projects and sheer backing, it was very much the opposite, with the Swoosh attacking from the very start. Nike have always pumped huge resources into women's football, but everything that they'd done in the past felt like it was a foundation for this tournament. The 2019 World Cup was when all those plans were activated and ultimately the rewards were reaped by the brand as they helped take women's football to a new level.

First Move

The first major move of Nike's 2019 World Cup charge came back in March when the brand took over Paris for their annual Innovation SummitThrough the pillars of the Place de la Bourse and into a palace of progression, Nike took over the French capital with a dominant display of World Cup unity in an event that showcased the kits of all 14 competing Nike National Teams. A colossal event usually reserved for the likes of CR7, Neymar and Mbappe, Nike flexed their muscles with exclusive kit releases, a-list audience and every leading player from the women's game. This set the bench mark high.

Dream Further Film

Nike’s “Dream Further” became the most viewed Nike Football campaign ever, topping iconic male-driven Nike Football campaigns like “The Last Game,” “Winner Stays,” and “Write the Future” among others. “Dream Further” generated nearly half a billion views across all digital and broadcast platforms, with digital garnering significantly more views than broadcast. Broadcast remained a key component of the campaign though with “Dream Further” debuting during the men’s Champion’s League Final and subsequently airing before the matches and during halftime of games in key markets throughout the tournament.

Social Media Presence

What Nike did incredibly well was promote their athletes across their social channels long before the kick off of the World Cup. Leading names from the game were showcased in the build up – players who might have been obvious icons to many fans, but to others it was the first time they'd been introduced to them – this ensured that Nike elevated these players' profiles before the tournament kicked off, these were the players neutrals were looking out for, and when they saw them, they were already familiar with them.

Nike's backing on @nikefootball Instagram was immense. Since May 12 (a month before the tournament kicked off) 35 of the 40 posts going out to the 40m followers were focused on women's football. Nike ensured the Women's World Cup was on your screen every time you opened an app. Subtle but strong posts, gently but firmly pushing the new kits, new players, and installing new hype.


The Billboards

Nike ensured that fans at home were jumping on board with the USWNT by unveiling giant murals and posters in some of the most expensive and sought after advertising locations in the country. From Times Square to buildings in LA, the USWNT were unmissable in the States. It would have been easier and possibly created more short-term success to use that space for leading men's figures in football, or new-generation product, but Nike have a long term vision for the women's game – a move such as this proving that.

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Record-Breaking Kit Sales

Nike sponsored 14 of the 24 teams at the tournament including three of the four semi finalists. The USA Women’s Home jersey became the #1 soccer jersey, men or women’s, ever sold on in one season. Hosts France, England, Nigeria, and Brazil also strongly contributed to jersey sales being up 200% over the last tournament 4 years ago. Several countries joined the United States in selling the women’s designs in men’s sizes, nearly doubling the number of men’s jerseys sold over the previous tournament (2015). Sales of women’s apparel pertaining to the tournament were also up more than 150% over 2015. Especially popular were the training and lifestyle extensions of the National Team Collections for Brasil, Nigeria, Chile, and China.


The Boots

More minutes were played in Nike boots during the tournament than any other brand. Nike boots also scored more goals than any other brand. Of the Nike goals, 60% were scored by wearers of the Nike Mercurial 360. Nike-sponsored players were also named as the player of the match more than any other brand. The Victory Pack led the way with a dominant aesthetic as Nike dished out very similar designs to each respective silo to ensure a graphic takeover on pitches and screens.

In Stores

Nike Women's football products prominently featured in over 1,000 Nike Stores worldwide, allowing fans to get their hands on the products rather than just ordering online. Once again, bringing the consumer closer to the tournament and physically giving them chance to be a part of it.


Influential Players

Nike also had the most talked about and influential players on their books, on and off the pitch. Megan Rapinoe won the Golden Ball, Golden Boot, scored in the final, all while making headlines with her forward-thinking views and visions for change. Alex Morgan was the most followed women's player on Instagram, and high profile players like Sam Kerr and Lieke Martens also performed well. The Young Player of the Tournament went to another Nike athlete in Germany's Giulia Gwinn, while the leading athletes all saw a dramatic increase in their social media followings.

USWNT striker Alex Morgan saw her Instagram following jump from 6m to 8m over the tournament, including a rise of 360k on the night she scored against England in the semi-final and pulled out the 'tea-drinking' celebration (her following was increasing less than 10k per day before the tournament). Morgan's following jumped another 700k on the weekend of the final.

Megan Rapinoe saw her Instagram following double of the course of the tournament, including a gain of around half a million followers on the final weekend to break the 1m follower mark.


Mercurial Exclusive

Rather than waiting for the start of the 2019/20 season, Nike opted to launch their next-generation Mercurial on the weekend of the Women's World Cup Final, and selecting the female players to launch and wear the boot before any of their male counterparts. A huge backing of belief from the Swoosh who usually rope in the leading names from the men's game to unveil their most hyped, most successful and most recognised football boot series.

What's Next?

Nike's hard work in the years leading up to this tournament were fully justified, not just from a quality sense, but from a business sense too. The brand have helped elevate the game into new levels of exposure, while creating icons and giving them the publicity to fulfil their potential as deserved champions, role models and icons. You could say that they executed the perfect plan by backing a winning USWNT, but this isn't the end of a project, far from it. The 2019 World Cup was one hell of a foundation, and the game is now set for an exciting future. Nike have created a bigger platform for future international tournaments in this breakthrough year.

The equal pay argument is an entirely different article, but equal backing and equal exposure is priceless and it's something that Nike have delivered on over the past month of summer football. Again, foundations for where the women's game can develop to. A huge step.

Manchester City vs Manchester United has already been announced at the Etihad in the 19/20 season and Chelsea vs Tottenham is booked in for Stamford Bridge, with free admission. Wheels are turning. Other clubs, other brands, and other fans are taking notice, and Nike must be commended for fully getting on board and backing the 2019 Women's World Cup with all the strength of the Swoosh.