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Athletic success in women’s sports, in particular in women’s soccer, is strongly linked to macrolevel gender equality within societies. There is also evidence that macrolevel gender equality matters for sport consumption. This study explored the role of mesolevel institutions for the popularity of women’s soccer. The example of reunified Germany illustrates that macrolevel gender equality might be less important for the popularity of women’s sport than mesolevel gender equality, that is, policy priorities adopted by sport associations and other actors involved in sport policymaking. The study comes with practical implications for the future popularity of women’s soccer.
The authors are with the University of Münster, Münster, Germany.