It’s the No 1 women’s sport in NZ, but some elite netballers aren’t making enough to live.
Leading Silver Ferns are earning $130,000 a year, about a 10th of the salary of millionaire All Blacks’ captain Kieran Read.
New Zealand’s premier netballers have never enjoyed a higher profile. They’re on our TV screens three days a week during winter, playing in a new domestic competition where the tagline screams, “Made from more”. Away from the glitzy team photoshoots, the majority of elite players, outside the flagship Silver Ferns, are doing it tough.
The Silver Ferns get paid less than the All Blacks because they generate less revenue. The All Whites get paid less for the same reason.
Former Steel and Mystics chief executive Julie Paterson, now Tennis New Zealand’s boss, says the ongoing conundrum is how to generate greater money in netball.
NNZ earned $5.2 million in sponsorship in 2016, compared with New Zealand Rugby’s $55 million.
If you generate more revenue, you’ll get paid more. There are basically three forms of revenue for sports”
- Ticket sales
- TV advertising rights
The All Blacks get paid a lot because their games are sold out, the TV rights are very valuable and they have a lot of sponsorship.