West Ham United Women’s team has agreed a new sponsorship deal with ZO Skin Health, which will see the brand become the team’s first ever back of shorts partner.

The unique sponsorship will also see the innovative skincare solutions brand sponsor the official West Ham United Women’s Player of the Month award, which will be introduced for the first time at the end of March.

InsiderSport spoke to Dean Akinjobi, the CEO of Football Media, the agency that connected the brand with West Ham United, about how the deal is indicative of the growth of women’s football ahead of this summer’s World Cup.

InsiderSport: Can you tell us more about how this innovative deal came about?

Dean Akinjobi: Football Media had been speaking with Zo Skin Health about their brand and growth plans for some time.

We identified based on Zo’s objectives and our analysis of trends in the women’s game, that women’s football had a lot of synergies with Zo’s objectives and would be a great platform to effectively use to get the brand message across to its core demographic, with a focus on providing confidence and education on the value of skin health.     

InsiderSport: Why is West Ham United a perfect club for Zo to partner with?

DA: West Ham United Women is the perfect club for Zo, we worked very closely with them in advance to get an understanding of Zo’s objectives and the clubs ability to work with us to help to deliver the objectives, we found during the process that West Ham United Women were highly passionate, open and innovative around the collaborative partnership ideas that we had in mind.

Furthermore, West Ham United Women have a Managing Director in Jack Sullivan and team that we have formed a very strong relationship with as they share our passion about the long term development of the women’s game and working with Football Media to enable brands to be part of this growth.      

InsiderSport: Are you able to reveal some of the creative activations we could see from this partnership?

DA: There will be a number of creative activations to look out for from this partnership, we can’t reveal full details now, however, what we can reveal is that one of the core themes with be confidence and inspiring women and girls to be confident on and pitch off the pitch and in all areas of life.   

InsiderSport: Is this deal indicative of the growth of women’s football and its marketing capabilities?

DA: Yes, this deal is indicative of the growth of women’s football and its marketing capabilities, women’s football is on the rise and it’s a great platform for brands to use to grow, reach and engage with target audiences within a highly targeted market.

The nature of these partnerships need to have a tripartite structure at its core, involving the brand, club and fans, with a key focus on adding value, supported by the right kind of activations to deliver engagement and success.

InsiderSport: Could this first-of-its-kind deal usher in similar deals within the women’s game?

DA: Yes, this first of-its-kind deal will usher in similar deals, with the women’s World Cup coming up this summer and the women’s Euros taking place in the UK in 2021 there will be an increased interest from brands in women’s football, Football Media is currently working with a large number of brands on their strategies to develop partnerships in women’s football and have become an integral part of this strategic process.  

West Ham United women’s Managing Director Jack Sullivan also spoke with enthusiasm about the new partnership: “It is a pleasure to welcome ZO Skin Health to West Ham United as the newest partner of our women’s team. ZO Skin Health has a proven reputation of being both a pioneering business in skin therapy technologies and a comprehensive educator of best skin care practice for both physicians and patients.

“Furthermore, ZO Skin Health have displayed a genuine passion for encouraging growth in women’s football. They wish to inspire girls and women to be confident and believe in themselves. I believe this to be the start of a long, successful partnership between ourselves and ZO Skin Health; one that will grow both our brands through creative activation. We are truly proud to have them on board.”