The hat trick was one thing. Carli Lloyd scored the fastest three goals in World Cup history. But it wasn’t just how many goals Lloyd scored or how fast Lloyd was done in leading the U.S. to victory over Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final: It was the manner in which she did it.
In due time, it will be Lloyd’s third goal against Japan that will be the highlight of legendary proportion. Having won the ball just inside the U.S. half of the field, Lloyd pivoted with the ball, beat her defender and, as she dribbled toward the midfield line, she let loose that stunning 50-yarder that punished Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori for being so far out of position.
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How much is that goal alone worth, since it serves as an exclamation point for a performance in which an elite athlete is operating at peak performance on the biggest stage? We are going to find out.
This Friday, tons of confetti will fly in lower Manhattan when the United States women’s national soccer team’s victory is feted in a rare New York City ticker tape parade. The team will appear on "Good Morning, America" just prior to the morning parade. But more fallout will come from the historic 2015 Women’s World Cup win than loads of scrap paper: Dollars are going to thrown at "Big-Game" Lloyd by marketing firms and corporations eager to sign the U.S. midfielder to sponsorship and advertising deals.
"Carli Lloyd will get a chunk of the windfall, which to me is well deserved. She’s the World Cup MVP, Silver Ball winner, scored big goals when the US needed it, captain of the team. But I think Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and a few others will also reap the big dollars as well,” said Michelle Akers, the 1999 World Cup champion and long considered the best women’s soccer player ever.
Morgan already has partnership agreements with Nike and Coke, while the 35-year-old, all-time leading goalscorer Wambach has deals with Nike, Panasonic, Chipotle and Pepsi. They will see those opportunities expand. But it’s Lloyd whose star turn is the one being talked about right now and no doubt, Lloyd intends to generate opportunities in areas where she has passion and personal interest. Some marketing experts have said Lloyd stands to make upwards of $18 million over the next two years.
No. 1 on Lloyd’s list is to get on board with Whole Foods. As an emphatic trainer and organic food enthusiast who used a personal program to achieve optimum fitness, Lloyd has said she would not only like to do advertising deals with Whole Foods, she sees a long future with the company.
Lloyd’s agent, Josh Weil of William Morris Entertainment, has received at least 200 business and media messages since the U.S. ended a 16-year World Cup drought. According to The New York Post, Lloyd has already been tagged at "Captain America" after winning the tournament’s Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament. This solidifies her reputation as a big-game player, scoring winning goals for the U.S. in the 2008 and 2012 gold-medal games at the Olympics.
Jarrod Moses, head of United Entertainment Group, told The New York Post that Lloyd could see as much as $18 million over the next two years, given that the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will take place next summer. Morgan Buksbaum, Senior Partner, Vice President of Entertainment and Sports with ad agency MediaCom, told The New York Post that Lloyd has the potential "to become one of the most endorsed female athletes out there."
AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz wrote Lloyd "has a good chance of sustaining her name recognition" with the ’16 Rio Olympics "just 13 months away." But Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing CEO & COO Bob Williams said women’s soccer enters a "dead zone" when the Olympics are over, which means "the time to sign deals is really now.”
Meanwhile, ADWEEK quoted Chris Raih, founder and CEO of Zambezi, who said that: "It’s important to note that (Lloyd) is not only competing with other high-profile athletes, but competing against members of her own team.”
Lloyd was the big star for the U.S., scoring the winning goals against China in the quarterfinals, Germany in the semifinals and Japan in the finals. It will be interesting to see how players like defender Julie Johnston will be rewarded, too. As a 23-year-old newcomer to the U.S. national team, Johnston was the breakout player on a back line that kept the U.S. in the tournament as the U.S. struggled to find its form on offense.