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Jersey sales soaring for USWNT, setting records

Sales of the USWNT jersey have outpaced all other U.S. soccer jerseys, including those of the men's team, according to statistics from Nike and Fanatics, two of the official licensed sellers.

Nike said in its earnings report that the women's 2019 stadium home jersey is now the No. 1-selling soccer jersey, men's or women's, ever sold on Nike.com in one season. Fanatics said this is the top-selling U.S. Soccer national team, men's or women's, of all time, with sales more than 500% greater this year vs. the same period (through the semifinals) in 2015.

The U.S. women beat England 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the finals of the Women's World Cup for a third straight time. The team also has sparked reaction and engagement all over social media.

"It's hard to overstate how important this year has been to the evolution of the women's offense at Nike," president and CEO Mark Parker said on the earnings call. "The business grew double digits in fiscal '19, accelerating in the back half of the year. Our momentum in women's [sports] is a great example of how our renewed focus is really moving the needle through thoughtful design, powerful brand messages and digitally led distribution."

The success of the United States women's national team has helped drive business for Nike even past the jersey, which retails for $90. Parker said the energy around the World Cup, with nearly two-thirds of the teams wearing Nike kits and half the players wearing Nike boots, has pushed the company to the No. 1 position in market share for bras this quarter in North America for the first time in the company's history.

That statistic is impressive given the exposure Nike gained in 1999, when Brandi Chastain scored the winning goal against China in a shootout and tore off her jersey, revealing her sports bra -- and leading to one of the most iconic photos in women's soccer history.

Now that the Americans have a shot at winning the World Cup, the numbers could go even higher for Nike.

"For me, personally, the groundswell of support around the world for the athletes and teams has been truly inspiring," Parker said.

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