Saudi Arabia signs PepsiCo-owned brand Lay’s to boost women’s football 

Saudi-branded football placed for a corner.
Credit: Shutterstock

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has strengthened its partnership portfolio by signing Lay’s potato crisps as an official sponsor. 

Under the three-year deal, the subsidiary of food and beverages conglomerate PepsiCo will be the sponsor of the Saudi Women’s Premier League commencing from the 2023/24 season. The league will be renamed to the Saudi Women’s Premier League Powered by Lay’s.

CEO of PepsiCo’s MENA division Aamer Sheikh said: “We are thrilled to embark on this exciting journey with the Saudi Women’s Premier League to not only underscore our dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion but also demonstrate our commitment to the ambitious Vision 2030 goals of Saudi Arabia.

“This collaboration also reflects our unwavering promise to empower women not just globally but locally as well through our numerous platforms and programs. By empowering and promoting women in sports, we contribute to the vision’s aim of diversifying the Saudi economy, enhancing the quality of life, and increasing participation in sports at all levels.”

The league saw its inaugural season played last year, featuring a total of eight teams – five of which an extension of the biggest men’s Saudi Pro League teams – going against each other in a two-legged fixture format taking place over 14 weeks, with Al-Nassr becoming the first-ever champion. 

Matches from the new season, which starts on 13 October, will be broadcasted live on the Saudi Sports Channel. 

SAFF Vice President Lamia Ibrahim Bahaian commented: “Our partnership with Lay’s for the Saudi Women’s Football League is a testament to the growing support and recognition of women’s sports in Saudi Arabia.

“The league’s expansion, with the backing of Lay’s, is a significant step forward in achieving our objectives to nurture and showcase the incredible talent of female footballers in our nation. Together, we are working toward a future where women’s football takes its rightful place on the global stage and inspires young girls across Saudi Arabia and beyond.”

SMC (Saudi Media Company) CEO Khalid Alkhudair, who was also present at the Lay’s and SAFF signing ceremony, added: “This partnership contributes in opening new horizons for achieving the goals of women’s football in the Kingdom. 

“Today, we are witnessing a qualitative leap in sports, where investment and sports marketing play an important role in contributing to the country’s ambitions. We are delighted at SMC to be among the pioneering Saudi companies in this field.”

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