If the United States women’s national team had a hype index — a ranking that would juxtapose a player’s celebrity against her actual contribution on the field — Sydney Leroux would be at the top. Her social media game puts her teammates’ to shame, with her recent marriage to Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer giving her plenty of Instagram fodder. Coincidentally, and unfortunately, she’s in one of the longest goal droughts of her international career, and she hasn’t scored against a FIFA top 20 team since June.
But good public relations can transcend results. Witness yesterday’s story on TMZ about her husband’s wedding ring. According to the report, the $20,000 piece was designed by Leroux herself. Perhaps more important, it got fans talking, again.
“The ring is 14mm wide and features 97 baguillion and round brilliant diamonds that are actually cut to mimic the octagons on the side of a soccer ball.”
Who knew Syd and Dom were living that life? Quip all you want about “not as poor as we thought,” collective bargaining implications, or how many NWSL players’ salaries you could cover with this ring. I look at this another way. I like seeing ambitious kids spending money on ridiculous things. This wasn’t just an investment in their love. This is the next chapter in their celebrity.
Dom Dwyer and Sporting Kansas City haven’t played a minute yet this season. Sydney Leroux has been dealing with injuries, and she’s probably slipped a little on the national team’s depth chart. But as long as their jeweler is talking to TMZ, their stats can be irrelevant.
Hype is real. The implications? Often, it’s lucrative. In some respects, it’s more valuable than goals.