The NWSL bonus pool payouts for the 2023 NWSL championship and NWSL Shield represent a growing commitment to properly compensate women’s soccer players.
The topic of equal pay in women’s sports isn’t going anywhere, and the NWSL announced Thursday that it is taking steps in the right direction. The league has revealed sweeping increases to bonus pool payouts for the 2023 NWSL Championship and 2023 NWSL Shield presented by CarMax. These raises were motivated by the NWSL’s prior announcement of a record-breaking $1.1 million prize pool for the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup.
The new bonus pool for the 2023 NWSL Shield, which is presented to the club with the best record at the conclusion of the regular season, will jump from $10,000 to $15,000 per player.
In addition, the 2023 NWSL Championship bonuses include $15,000 awarded to players from the championship team, $11,250 awarded to finalists, $7,500 awarded to semifinalists, and $3,750 awarded to quarterfinalists.
This year’s boost honors the increased focus on challenging the gender wage gap in women’s soccer. Through the previous UKG NWSL Challenge Cup announcement, players will also be eligible to earn a bonus for every match they appear in, with approximately $300,000 and $200,000 awarded to the top two teams competing in the Sept. 9 final. There is a maximum payout of $13,400 available to winning players.
“It’s our incredible athletes who make our league compelling — they deserve to have their compensation grow and reflect their excellence on the field,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman in a release. “Our 2023 bonus pool increases, inspired by UKG’s historic $1.1 million investment in our players, are once again breaking records set in 2022.”
“The NWSL and its players have continued to raise the bar of competition and excellence on and off the field and we’re proud to be on this journey with them,” Sarah Lane, Vice President, Marketing at CarMax added. “CarMax is proud to continue elevating women’s sports and these efforts help advance our shared goal of leveling the playing field for current and future generations of women athletes.”
After July 9, the NWSL will be on a brief hiatus as members of select clubs travel to Australia and New Zealand to compete in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Among the 23 elite athletes picked to represent Team USA include Lynn Williams from NJ/NY Gotham FC, Crystal Dunn from the reigning NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC, and Angel City FC rookie striker Alyssa Thompson.
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