Many people dream of becoming a professional footballer, yet it’s a goal that, in reality, is unattainable for many women. A survey by Allianz shows that financial obstacles prevent 64 per cent of women from pursuing their passion – to become a professional athlete, for example.1 The challenges are complex and severe. In the lead up to the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Allianz has launched two new initiatives to help women overcome financial uncertainty on their path to professional football.
Not fair and square – a difficult game with a squared ball
For women, talent and motivation alone are rarely enough to guarantee a financially secure footing in professional football. In the top European football leagues, more than one in ten women are not paid a salary at all.2 For female players, trapped between their high-performance sport and the difficulties of financial insecurity, it’s like playing the game with a squared ball.
The Squared Ball by Allianz is a tangible representation of the many challenges and hardships faced by women in professional football. With this campaign, Allianz seeks to draw attention to the financial challenges and associated uncertainties faced by women in football – and offer the tools to counter them with the Allianz Ready Coach initiative.
In addition to its symbolic square shape, the design of The Squared Ball features study-based insights on the challenges faced by women in football, encouraging both discussion and education. “The data clearly shows that financial barriers, among others, are what keep women from pursuing their passion as professional footballers. Knowledge about financial issues and a clear understanding of one’s own plans and options can help young female athletes pursue their careers with financial confidence,” says Christian Deuringer, Head of Global Brand Management at Allianz SE.
Resources for talent: Personal finance training with Allianz Ready Coach
Allianz has launched its Allianz Ready Coach initiative to offer free, tailor-made financial training to aspiring professional female footballers, among other athletes. Allianz Ready Coach Alessandra Jovy-Heuser (Aless) has extensive experience as a professional volleyball player and financial expert herself. Aless knows only too well the challenges female athletes face when entering a professional career: “When I was a professional athlete, I wished I had someone with financial expertise to help me. It’s important that young female athletes are supported in building their financial foundation and are prepared for the future. From starting out to signing a contract and long-term career planning, financial knowledge is a critical component to getting ahead in the game and turning your passion into a career. As an Allianz Ready Coach, I’m happy to be able to offer tips on how to use and invest money effectively.” In addition to the Allianz Ready Coach, Allianz offers the Allianz Future Workout for the next generation of athletes, including Olympians and Paralympians.
Financial literacy as a foundation for realising professional dreams
The Squared Ball and Allianz Ready Coach are part of a global, holistic commitment by Allianz to promote financial literacy.
The Allianz Financial Literacy Hub3 features all of Allianz’s research on financial literacy, providing data to identify areas of impact to help reduce financial insecurity and increase access to financial education. This month, Allianz launched a new platform called Allianz Finance Workout, which provides e-learning and interactive tools for a variety of everyday investment and financial topics.
Additionally, Allianz offers resources through the Allianz Finance Coach Training for young people. Allianz’s commitment equips young people with the right tools to make informed decisions about their finances. Financial hurdles should not stand in the way of achieving professional dreams.