The U.S. women’s national team will be looking to change their look this summer in Canada and once again firmly establish themselves as the best team in the world. The Stars and Stripes are playing to add an unprecedented 3rd star to the badge worn on the team jersey.
Despite winning the last 3 Olympic Gold medals in 2004, 2008, and 2012, somewhat surprisingly it has been 16 years since the WNT last won the FIFA Women’s World Cup. With the backing of 90,185 fans at the Rose Bowl and millions more fans across the country, the WNT defeated China in penalties to take the title.
Brandi Chastain provided the iconic moment slamming home the decisive penalty kick before ripping off her shirt and dropping to her knees in celebration. The moment won the team a 2nd Women’s World Cup title and Chastain a spot on the cover of Sport Illustrated but it was just one moment in the larger story related to the WWC that year and women’s sports.
Nike, the technical sponsor for the team who yesterday unveiled the U.S. women’s national team 2015 Women’s World Cup jersey, was one of those story tellers celebrating the athletes on the national team while inspiring the next generation, those players pulling on the jersey today.
The focus leading up to the 1999 Women’s World Cup was the culmination of a decade in which Nike took the lead in promoting women athletes and celebrating the 20th anniversary of Title IX.
Mia Hamm, who signed with Nike in 1994 and became one of the primary female spokespersons for the brand, was the focus of some of the campaigns. The striker, who scored 158 goals for the national team, was part of the ‘Girl in America’ spot that proclaimed, ‘There is a girl being born in America. Someone will give her a doll. Someone will give her a ball. And someone will give her a chance.’
Hamm may have been the most recognizable player for the campaign but the bigger picture was on the TEAM. Future team captain Julie Foudy was featured on poster montage with images of the team in action and the statement
If one of us is good, then all of us are great.
If one of us is strong, then all of us are fearless.
And if one of us is determined – we are unstoppable.
Soccer was just 1 avenue Nike used to empower more females to play sports. One of their most famous advertisements of all-time was ‘If You Let Me Play’ from the 1990’s.
The players and team that won the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup became heroes to many aspiring soccer players and future women athletes. The 1999 team, however, is not just about the past this summer as 1 thread still connects this team to the last WWC winning side. Current team captain Christie Rampone was a member of the 1999 team and is part of the story along with the rest of her teammates in continuing the message of women chasing dreams, winning championships, and playing sports.