Under the lights, in front of a recently packed Banc of California crowd, Los Angeles’ newest pro team celebrated its home opener, home goals and home win.
But even in Los Angeles, where the script writes itself and the results speak for themselves, success has never looked like this.
“Three female founders, one majority-female ownership group, one majority-female team,” Angel City FC president and co-founder Julie Uhrman said.
This June will mark 50 years of Title IX and Angel City FC is a fitting reminder that it’s about more than just getting girls and women on the field.
“The goal was to sell,” Uhrman said. “The goal was to create an experience that had never been done before in Los Angeles and give our players the experience they deserve.”
The players of the Women’s National Soccer League have been tested throughout its 10-year history. Most recently, they faced a misconduct suit that led to the firing or resignation of five head coaches, and a collective bargaining agreement that raised the league’s minimum salary to $35,000.
In this new chapter, Uhrman and his Angel City co-founders want to prove that doing good can also be good business.
Some of your sponsorship deals are required to go back into the community.
They have created a fund to help launch new careers for players once football is over. One percent of the money made from ticket sales this season will go into a common fund, which will be divided equally by its athletes at the end of the year. Players just have to promote the club on social media.
“So to get to fairness, everyone has to work together, so this fan fuel program basically says that you, as a fan, have a role in helping us get there,” Uhrman said. “We know what’s possible now, so if we don’t get 22,000 fans every game, now we’re disappointed because we know what’s possible.”
But as athletes, as competitors, and as women in sports, they know that the real victory is yet to come.
“It’s hard to say how far we’ve come because we know how much further we have to go,” Uhrman said.
ABC-owned television stations and ABC’s Localish present 50 inspiring stories from across the country for Fifty/50, as part of The Walt Disney Company’s monumental initiative marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the federal law civil rights law that prohibits discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funds, and gave women an equal opportunity to play.
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ESPN, Localish and this station.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.