Juventus forward Eniola Aluko has said that women’s football needs to become a more sustainable brand, in order to keep the game growing.
The former England international was speaking at the launch of the #WorldAtHerFeet report by Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), which looks at key findings on the development of the women’s game. Aluko explained how the women’s game has grown, as well as what can be done to help it further grow.
Aluko said: “It’s about making women’s football a sustainable brand so that other brands want to be part of it, not just for one or two years but for the next 10 or 15 years. It is always a matter of sustainability.
“For the women’s game, we need to create a brand that can attract 2,000 fans every week and, step by step, build up to 10,000.”
Aluko joined Juventus last summer from Chelsea, having spent six years in west London. She has already enjoyed success since arriving in Turin, winning the Coppa Italia and the Championship in her debut season with the Bianconeri.
Italy is the third country Aluko has played in during her 18-year career, having gone between England and the United States before. The 32-year-old had won it all in England, winning three Super League titles and two FA Cups in her time at Chelsea.
She went on to say: “We are now seeing multi-million-pound sponsorships, record attendances in different countries, and brands making specially designed kits for women’s teams. We are just starting what has been the norm in men’s sport for years.
“The sky’s the limit for the women’s sport, provided we achieve and maintain financial sustainability, brand sustainability and fan sustainability.”
Speaking about her time in Italy so far, Aluko referred to the fantastic attendance at Juventus’ league clash with Fiorentina at the Allianz Stadium in March. The Bianconeri secured a vital 1-0 win in front of 39,000 people, breaking the previous record attendance of 14,000 for women’s football in Italy.
On the match, Aluko said: “Five years ago that wouldn’t have happened. It’s a measure of just how much the game has grown. But the challenge now is how do we repeat this five times next season and not just once.”
She added: “The transformation we’ve seen in the game in recent years means that more young women will see a brighter future in the game and not have to juggle careers.”
The #WorldAtHerFeet report was unveiled by BCW at a debate in London on 29 May, with football stakeholders and media present for the presentation of the findings.