Abby Wambach is getting down to business.
A World Cup win secured Wambach's legacy as one of the best soccer players in U.S. history and as she heads into the twilight of her career, she's agitating for progression within the American game.
“The potential is huge," Wambach said of the business of American soccer to the Sporting News in an interview published Monday.
"You see a little bit of a downtrend in some of these other major league sports in our country. So the corporate sponsors are going, ‘Alright, where’s the next Big Thing?’ And Soccer is it. Soccer is the next big thing in this country," she continued.
Speaking at the Doha GOALS forum, Wambach encouraged prospective sponsors to invest in the sport now before the bandwagon rides off.
"You want to get in on the ground floor," Wambach said. "Otherwise you're going to be paying tons of money. Like now people pay for those advertisements for the Super Bowl and the NFL. So get on it people. You guys are going to miss out if you don't."
Wambach's pitch comes after sponsors missed out on taking full advantage of the popularity of the 2015 Women's World Cup. The final between the U.S. and Japan was the most-watched soccer match in U.S. television history for women or men, but advertising sponsorship buys for the tournament were just a fraction of what last year's men's World Cup totaled, the Washington Post reported at the time.
Post-World Cup, Wambach has been vocal about her desire to see changes in American soccer, particularly on the women's side. Last week, Wambach told The Huffington Post that she'd be open to pursuing a role at FIFA.
If her stated ambitions are any indication, Wambach is well on her way to making an impact for women's players off the field.
"It's my goal that by the time I finish, I've put the game in a better place," she told the Sporting News. "So that next generation will have more money, will have more endorsements, will have more corporate sponsorships in their back pockets so we will have a little more equal-like pay with the men."