EA Sports has revealed a ‘Starting XI Fund’ for women’s football, which has been designed to accelerate the game moving forward.
In announcing several key initiatives dedicated to championing the women’s football community and growing the game both on and off the pitch, the organisation outlined an $11m investment, which will incorporate in-game, league, club and athlete investments.
EA Sports also announced that beginning next year, it will fund a women’s football internship program with each new and existing women’s league partner.
This is designed to ‘inspire and empower’ young females from diverse backgrounds to become involved in the sport.
“EA Sports is at the epicentre of global football fandom, and we recognise the role we have in representing and elevating diversity and participation in the sport,” said Andrea Hopelain, SVP of Brand, EA Sports.
“Our commitment extends beyond the pitch in the virtual and real world. The Starting XI Fund reinforces our dedication to unrivalled authenticity and representation in our games, and also showcases our focus on being changemakers for the future of the sport.”
Notably, the company has also announced a multi-year partnership with the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL), which aims to allow both parties to deliver ‘a more impactful experience’ for women’s football fans around the globe.
Starting early 2023, EA Sports FIFA 23 will include the knockout stage of the UWCL with clubs such as Juventus Women, Real Madrid Femenino, Chelsea Women and Paris Saint-Germain Féminine, to name a few.
“We are delighted to see the UEFA Women’s Champions League being integrated into EA SPORTS FIFA 23,” added Nadine Kessler, Chief of Women’s Football for UEFA.
“It feels like a natural fit for the world’s best women’s club competition to be part of the world’s leading football simulation game. This is another major step in the women’s game and an ideal additional platform for the female athletes contributing to its success.”
Also announced during the Women’s Football Summit, EA Sports has agreed to a deal with DAZN which will now become the global broadcast partner of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
This deal sees EA Sports advertising shown across the matchday global broadcasts on DAZN and on DAZN’s UWCL YouTube Channel.
“We are thrilled to officially announce EA Sports as DAZN’s newest global broadcast sponsor of the UEFA Women’s Champions League coverage, as part of a budding roster of like-minded brands investing into the ever-strengthening women’s football economic ecosystem,” concluded Shay Segev, CEO of DAZN Group.
“What EA Sports is doing to advance the women’s game is game-changing, and we look forward to activating this new partnership to collectively reach and engage millions more fans around the globe and inspire the next generation along the way.”