Brand Strategy

US soccer star Tobin Heath on her company’s new push into content

Re—Inc, a lifestyle brand founded by Heath and three other soccer stars, started a show about the Women’s World Cup as a first step in creating a media business.
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· 4 min read

In the world of women’s soccer, 2019 was pivotal: It was the year the US Women’s National Team won its fourth World Cup title while in the middle of a legal dispute with its federation over equal pay, which was settled last year.

It’s also the year four current and former players from the roster—Tobin Heath, Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe, and Megan Klingenberger—founded their own company.

At the time, Re—Inc was a commerce business. From there, in addition to continuing to sell apparel and accessories, the team built a membership community. Then, just in time for this year’s Women’s World Cup, Re—Inc debuted its first show, in what Heath said is the jumping-off point for an entire media division.

“We wanted to use this vehicle to reimagine the status quo, and how better to do it than with the platform of the World Cup?” Heath told Marketing Brew. “We were passionate about using our voices, our platforms, to create content that looked and felt more like us.”

Just a girl

The Re—Cap Show: World Cup Edition, hosted by Heath and Press, who did not play in this year’s World Cup due to injuries, covers the tournament twice-weekly while also setting out to define “gal culture” in sports, aka the women’s equivalent of “bro culture,” according to Heath. The show, which lasts about an hour, primarily lives on YouTube, but there’s also a podcast version. Snippets of it are posted across TikTok and Instagram as well.

YouTube is the main focus, Heath said, because seeing the way she and Press “speak, the way that we interact with each other,” helps convey the concept of gal culture. But it’s also important to make the show as widely available as possible, she added.

“One of the biggest frustrations around women’s sports is a lack of accessibility to women’s sports content,” Heath said. “It’s a major frustration in women’s sports, and therefore we knew with this piece of content, we wanted it to live everywhere.”

The show premiered on July 20, surpassing 10 million views across social platforms after just three episodes, according to Heath, including about 500,000 on YouTube alone. That was the goal for the entire first season, she said, so the team bumped it up to about 20 million by the time the season ends on Aug. 20. The Re—Cap Show will eventually cover another sport, Heath said, but she wasn’t ready to share further details yet.

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Let’s hear it for the brands

Ahead of its debut, Heath and her team sought out brand partners to help finance the show. At first, without a product or metrics, they weren’t sure how that would go. As it turns out, a handful of brands were “amped” about it, Heath said. Season 1 sponsors include Ally Financial, shoe brand Oofos, software company UKG, and Tequila Komos.

“I always say that we’re a brand that lives at the intersection of sports, progress, and equity, and there’s so many brands out there right now that are living in that intersection as well,” she said.

It didn’t hurt the pitch that the founders are all well-respected soccer players, Heath said, with pre-existing brand deals under their belts. Oofos, for instance, first collaborated with Re—Inc on a pair of shoes that rolled out in 2021, then again this year, and was excited to continue that partnership on The Re—Cap Show, according to Head of Marketing Darren Brown.

Oofos is sponsoring a segment in every episode called “Oofos Presents Community Questions,” during which Heath and Press answer questions from fans. Those whose questions are chosen receive products from Oofos, Brown said. The partnership also includes two custom videos outside of the show, like this “get ready with me” video on Heath’s Instagram:

Brown said he’s already eager to explore opportunities in season 2. For Heath’s part, she’s most focused on working with brands that can find real business value in partnering with Re—Inc.

“That’s really critical for me,” she said. “If I just hear somebody saying, ‘I’m just doing this because it’s goodwill,’ or ‘I have a daughter,’ I’m not interested in it because…I think [women’s sports] deserves brand partners that know that investing in women’s sports is really good business.”

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