FA Signs £10M Sponsorship for Women’s Football

The English FA have signed a £10 Million partnership with Barclays as the new title sponsor of the FA Women’s Super League with effect from the 2019-20 season.

The partnership will be in place for an initial three years and is the largest ever single investment in Women’s sport by a commercial backer.

Barclays were the original commercial backer of the Premier League when it came into existence in 1992, seen by many as the catalyst for the explosion in value and reach of the club game around the world.

The new partnership includes The FA and Barclays working together to drive the growth of the women’s game at a grassroots level, with Barclays also becoming the lead partner of the FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships, a nationwide scheme to help develop girls’ access to football at school.

Network

The initiative will see a network of hubs delivering bespoke FA programmes for their local groups of schools, which will ‘engage, excite and encourage girls to make football a part of their life’.

Barclays will collaborate with The FA and The Youth Sport Trust to support the development and delivery of 100 Girls’ Football School Partnerships.

At the elite level, the partnership will kick off in the wake of the FIFA World Cup taking place in France this summer and where England are expected to be among the leading contenders.

The whole tournament is being covered free to air on the BBC and it is not fanciful to imagine that this could be a bigger boost for the sport there, and here in Ireland by extension, than was the case when England won the Men’s tournament on home soil back in 1966.

It will be a significant boost for Irish soccer with a number of our key players involved at the top flight level.  From the last senior squad that beat Wales  Louise Quinn and Katie McCabe are at Arsenal, Niamh Fahey is with Liverpool, Megan Campbell is playing with Man City, Marie Hourihan and Megan Connolly are at Brighton, Grace Moloney is at Reading and Leanne Kiernan at West Ham United.

Positive

To have so many playing regularly in a league that is set for take off is a real positive for Colin Bell’s side as they prepare for the Qualification series for the next European Championships.

“We are delighted to announce our landmark partnership with Barclays and are looking forward to them joining us on a journey to transform the future of women’s football,” said Kelly Simmons, The FA’s director of women’s professional game.

“Their record, multimillion-pound commitment will impact all levels of the game and will support our ambition to make the Barclays FA Women’s Super League the world’s most successful league, on and off the pitch.”

“Of equal importance is the support this provides to The FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships, a cornerstone to our ambition to double participation within The FA’s Gameplan for Growth strategy and will see girls across the country given the opportunity to begin a relationship with football, which we hope will last a lifetime.”

Transform

“Football has the power to transform young people’s lives, boosting their confidence, being part of a team and providing more opportunities to grow,” added Jes Staley, Group CEO of Barclays.

“The grassroots work through The FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships will help thousands more girls in England to take up sport and we look forward to partnering with The FA to deliver that.”

“Barclays’ multi-year investment is also our salute to the professionalism of The FA Women’s Super League players, and we hope it will help take the game to new heights, making England’s domestic league a world leader.”

“Our commitment to women’s and girls’ football, at a crucial time in its development, goes beyond pure sponsorship – we believe it can be a key to increasing participation, development and the wider visibility of the female game.”

The FA Women’s Super League is Europe’s only fully professional domestic female football league and this new partnership will help The FA and the clubs transform the women’s game in England, driving increased awareness via significant allocated marketing spend, celebrating the league’s players and clubs and changing perceptions.

The partnership will also see the introduction of an annual £500,000 prize fund for the league, active as of the 2019-20 season and distributed based on final league position.

Landmark

The announcement is a significant landmark within The FA’s Gameplan for Growth strategy, an ambitious four-year strategy announced in 2017 that aims to double participation, double the fan base and create a high-performance system for England teams.

Barclays now supports both women’s and men’s football at the top tier as it has also renewed its official Banking Partner agreement with the Premier League for a further three years. It will draw on this experience and its previous experience of delivering grassroots sport through its Barclays Spaces for Sports programme to deliver on its commitment to women’s and girls’ football.

We have seen at first hand the significant impact which a committed backer can have on the growth of Women’s sport through the work of Lidl in Ladies football and Liberty Insurance in Camogie in particular.

The Só Hotel Group came on board as Title Sponsors of the Women’s National League here in Ireland ahead of the current season.

 

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