The English Football Association has announced that Barclays will be the title sponsor of the FA Women’s Super League from the 2019-20 season.
The newly formed partnership, which is set to run until July 2022, means that Barclays will make the biggest ever investment in UK women’s sport by a brand.
As part of the deal, the FA and Barclays will unite to drive the growth of the women’s game at a grassroots level, with Barclays becoming the lead partner of the FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships, a nationwide scheme to help develop girls’ access to football at school.
Kelly Simmons, The FA’s director of women’s professional game commented: “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.
“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.”
The initiative will see a network of hubs delivering bespoke FA programmes for their local network 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.
Affirming their commitment to the growth of the game, Jes Staley, Group CEO of Barclays, added: “Football has the power to transform young people’s lives, boosting their confidence, being part of a team and providing more opportunities to grow.
“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.
The landmark deal comes as the woman’s game embarks on a period of potential growth, with the World Cup ahead this summer. Just last week, InsiderSport spoke to Dean Akinjobi, the CEO of Football Media who emphasised just how much growth the women’s game can experience.
“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.”