NEW YORK – Bringing the first million-dollar prize pool to American women’s soccer, UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll, and workforce management solutions, and the National Women’s Soccer League will make history on April 19 when the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup kicks off.

“UKG’s equity-driven sponsorship of the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup solidifies a historic win for NWSL athletes who have persistently fought to claim a level playing field,” NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “Our athletes have long been on equal footing with their male counterparts in terms of skill and ability, and UKG’s partnership is critical to advancing the league’s extensive efforts to raise awareness and rectify the unfair reality that women on and off the field are being short-changed, literally.”

After already increasing the bonus pool tenfold in 2022, UKG will double the prize pool for this Challenge Cup, representing a significant step forward in reaching pay parity with the U.S. men’s game.

UKG again is collaborating with NWSL players Sydney Leroux and Christen Press to rally national awareness and support for pay equity by challenging everyone to level the playing field.

In conjunction with the tournament kickoff, UKG and the NWSL are launching a co-branded “Challenge Accepted” campaign emphasizing unwavering support for equity on and off the field.

“UKG is committed to being part of the solution that addresses the complex and systemic nature of pay inequities and leads to a fully equitable future for all. We’re up for the challenge,” said Pat Wadors, chief people officer at UKG, which has pledged to invest millions in critical programs, awareness initiatives, and nonprofits making measurable change for women and other marginalized groups beyond the world of professional sports. “In the spirit of the game, we challenge other organizations to join us and turn talk into action. Creating an ‘ecosystem of equity’ takes commitment from all levels of an organization. One step at a time makes a huge difference.”