Barclays in landmark WSL title deal

20 Mar 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

Barclays has been announced as the new title partner of the FA Women’s Super League in a deal described as the “biggest ever investment by a brand in UK women’s sport.”

The three-year, multi-million-pound agreement follows a flurry of major women’s football sponsorship announcements over recent weeks.

Barclays joins brands including Visa, adidas, Nike, Budweiser and Lucozade Sport in making a landmark commitment to the women’s game ahead of this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

The new sponsorship will take effect from the 2019-20 season and run until July 2022, adding to Barclays' sports portfolio. The bank is currently Official Banking Partner of the Premier League, having been its title sponsor under the previous model.

As part of the new WSL agreement, The FA and Barclays plan to work together 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.

Barclays will also collaborate with The FA and The Youth Sport Trust to support the development and delivery of 100 Girls’ Football School Partnerships, drawing on experience from its grassroots Barclays Spaces for Sport programme.

Commenting on the importance of the deal, Kelly Simmons, The FA’s director of women’s professional game said: “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.”

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.

The Barclays title partnership will 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 announcement is a significant landmark within The FA’s Gameplan for Growth strategy, which aims to double the size of the women’s game in England.