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Youth Soccer Superstar Signs With Nike

In 2017, 11-year-old Olivia Moultrie became the youngest womenâ??s soccer player to publicly accept an academic scholarship to play collegiate soccer. Recently, at 13-years-old, Olivia became the youngest female soccer player to forgo her academic scholarship as she announced she would be represented by Wasserman Media Groupand was accepting a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike.

Moultrieâ??s pro status and Nike endorsement deal signal two major trends in womenâ??s sports. Nike was not the only major athletic brand interested in Moultrie; Addidas had also expressed interest in the young soccer phenom. An endorsement deal at age 13 marks the true beginning of major athletic brands showing interest in elite youth sports. Alex Morgan is the only other American female soccer player endorsed by Nike. Nikeâ??s deal also marks a major shift towards more interest in female athletes in general. Women account for less than 5% of the Nike endorsed athletes. Moultrieâ??s decision to go pro also signifies the beginning of a new path for elite female soccer players. It is common for elite male soccer players to forgo college and go professional in the United States, but Moultrie is one of three female cases and the youngest by five years. Age restrictions will not allow her to compete in the NWSL or FIFA until she is 18, so it remains a mystery what she will spend the next five years doing as she comes of age. She may be the special case that changes NWSL bylaws or perhaps she will merely continue to play on the United States youth national team and boys club teams while she waits out her time.

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