In response to mounting criticism, Nike has unveiled a replica jersey for England goalkeeper Mary Earps, addressing the outcry over the unavailability of the popular Women’s World Cup finalist’s shirt.
Taking to Instagram, Mary Earps expressed her surprise at the sudden release of the jerseys and conveyed heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming support from her followers. Notably, the jerseys quickly sold out on the day of their release. It’s worth noting that as of now, these jerseys are not listed for sale on either Nike’s official website or the England Football Association’s site.
While Nike has refrained from disclosing sales figures, they have assured that more of Mary Earps’ jerseys will become available later in the season.
Mary Earps made a significant mark during the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this year, being awarded FIFA’s prestigious Golden Glove and earning the title of England Women’s Player of the Year in the recent past.
The sportswear giant, Nike, found itself facing criticism from both fans and Mary Earps herself during the competition for not offering replicas of the goalkeeper’s jersey. The Women’s World Cup concluded on August 20, with Spain emerging victorious against England.
The public response was fervent, with over 170,000 individuals signing a Change.org petition urging Nike to make jerseys accessible for Mary Earps and other women goalkeepers. Interestingly, the England men’s goalkeeper jersey is readily available for purchase on Nike’s official website.
In a statement provided to Reuters, Nike confirmed its commitment to making goalkeeper kits for women’s teams available for fans. The company mentioned it had secured limited quantities of goalkeeper jerseys for several national teams, including England, the U.S., France, and the Netherlands. These jerseys will be sold through the respective Federation websites.
Nike did not specify why the release of Mary Earps’ jersey was delayed until October.
Nike was responsible for producing jerseys for 13 of the 32 teams participating in the Women’s World Cup. The sale of England kits became an additional revenue source for the company after the U.S. team, sponsored by Nike since 1995, faced an early exit from the tournament, resulting in a notable loss in earnings potential.
It’s important to recognize that sports sponsorship plays a pivotal role in driving sales for apparel manufacturers. In the most recent quarterly report, ending August 31, 2023, Nike reported impressive performance in its global football category, which encompassed the 2023 tournament.