When U.S. women’s soccer legend Carli Lloyd, 39, was asked on a podcast, “All of US: The U.S. Women's Soccer Show,” why she wouldn’t play into her 40s like NFL star Tom Brady, her response illuminated the different circumstances male and female athletes face. And she nailed it like a header into the corner of the net.
“Well, Tom Brady doesn't have to have kids," Lloyd, who is retiring, said on the podcast. "That's the one thing for starters. My husband, Brian, and I are eventually going to start a family so the clock's kind of ticking on that."
The comments also served as a tipping point for the makers of Twirla, a weekly contraceptive patch, in partnering with Lloyd to promote the product, company representatives said.
“We want her to come out and talk about women’s health issues and opportunities and influence the next generation to make some healthy choices and be proactive in their health, versus [Lloyd] just going and saying, ‘Hey, this product is great,’” said Matt Riley, head of investor relations and corporate communications for Agile Therapeutics, a New Jersey company that received Food and Drug Administration approval for the contraceptive in February 2020.
Lloyd, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA Player of the Year, said in August that she would retire after four friendly matches with New Jersey/New York Gotham FC. She hung up her boots for good this week.
Agile, which has one product available and four in development, wanted to partner with Lloyd because it’s “solving for credibility,” said Al Altomari, CEO of Agile. “We are looking for extra leverage…somebody with an ability to get our messages out to a larger audience.”
Altomari said he also admires Lloyd and other women soccer players’ fight for equal pay, which is captured in a new documentary, “LFG.”
Plus, “the way she conducts herself on the field — her grit and determination — who she is as a person…It was sort of like hand in glove, a perfect fit,” Altomari said.
In terms of mediums, the main reason the company wanted to partner with Lloyd was because of her social media presence, Altomari said. She has almost 900,000 followers on Twitter and more than 1 million followers on Instagram.
The company also plans to feature Lloyd on its website and is working with Lloyd’s agent on public relations ideas, Riley said.
That could include a live event featuring Lloyd or visits with her to conferences of investors or doctors, Altomari said.
Lloyd and the company are also figuring out how to present her, Altomari said.
“Is she the soccer player, or is she now transitioning into the civilian world?” Altomari said.
Lloyd and Agile agreed to work together until September 2022, with a mutual option to extend, Riley said. They are also working with a Philadelphia-based advertising agency, LevLane.
For her part, Lloyd, who is from Delran, New Jersey, said in a statement that she was excited to partner with Agile because it’s “a company solely dedicated to women’s health. I aim to work with organizations that focus on things I care about, and staying healthy has been a priority for my career on the field and will continue to be so as I look ahead to my next chapter.”