Volkswagen of America, Inc. and U.S. Women’s Soccer announced a landmark, integrated partnership at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 2019 making Volkswagen the presenting automotive partner to the Federation through 2022.
“We are extremely excited to work together with Volkswagen to help us continue to grow soccer in the United States,” said U.S. Soccer CEO and Secretary General Dan Flynn. “Volkswagen will be one of the most active and visible partners U.S. Soccer has ever had, providing us with additional resources for more programs that can impact and help develop the sport, while also allowing us to reach more fans of the game across the country. We look forward to the next four years together as we drive toward our mission of becoming the preeminent sport in the United States.”Quoted from the 2019 Detroit Auto Show
Volkswagen Releases Statement Supporting U.S. Women’s Soccer Equal Pay
Volkswagen again showed a strong commitment to that support through a statement released on March 12, 2020, addressing the ongoing lawsuit filed by the U.S. women’s national team.
The lawsuit filed by the U.S. women’s national team cited gender discrimination, revealing that the women’s team members are paid significantly less despite more wins. The U.S. women’s team won the World Cup in 2015 and 2019. The men’s team did not qualify for their tournament in 2018.
The lawsuit has captured worldwide attention with fans chanting “Equal pay! Equal pay!” when the U.S. won the World Cup final in France.
The president of the United States Soccer Federation, Carlos Cordeiro, resigned after legal filings by the Federation stated: “indisputable science” proved the inferiority of women’s national team players to that of the men’s team players. Only 24 hours earlier, Cordeiro attempted to apologize for statements made over the legal filing documentation in which federation lawyers argued that it required more “skill” and “responsibility” to play for the men’s team than the women’s team.
This language evoked an immediate response from many of the USSF sponsors including Deloitte, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Visa, and Volkswagen. Volswagen’s release included the hashtag #StandWithUSWNT and stated the following in its release:
“We at Volkswagen of America are disgusted by positions taken by U.S. Soccer and they are simply unacceptable. We place great emphasis on gender inclusivity and equality and require our partners do the same. We stand by the USWNT and the ideals they represent for the world. We demand that U.S. Soccer rise up to these values. #DriveBigger”