Financial services company Visa has become the first ever sponsor of UEFA women’s football after the sport’s European governing body unbundled the inventory from men’s soccer.
As part of the landmark seven-year partnership, which runs through 2025, the global payments technology firm will support women’s football across all levels of the game.
Visa will become a main partner of the UEFA Women’s Champions League and the UEFA Women’s European Championship, as well as the Women’s Under-19 and Under-17 tournaments, and the Women’s European Futsal Championship.
Visa will also support UEFA's marketing platform, Together #WePlayStrong, which was set up in order to encourage more girls and women to take up the sport.
The partnership will see Visa lift the campaign through jointly branded content designed to alter the image of the women’s game.
The move to revolutionise UEFA's traditional sports sponsorship model is a highly significant one, with the change allowing women’s soccer to grow more rapidly thanks to the increase in commercial opportunities available to further develop the game.
UEFA's director of marketing, Guy-Laurent Epstein, said: “This will not only help to inspire current fans of women’s football but also ensure future generations take an interest in the sport. We are pleased Visa shares our vision for a vibrant women’s game – a vision that has taken a significant step forward with the signing of our partnership agreement.”
Charlotte Hogg, chief executive of Visa Europe, added: “It is an exciting time for women’s football. Twenty one million women and girls participate in the beautiful game across Europe and at Visa we want to celebrate every single one of them.
“We want to inspire, enable and leave a legacy to girls and young women to follow their dreams. With UEFA, we plan to bring women’s football to the forefront because at Visa we believe in acceptance everywhere, from the pitch to the boardroom.”
UEFA's head of women’s football Nadine Kessler said: “The women’s game has always had tremendous value for football and the wider society, but today marks yet another milestone for women’s football and what it can offer.
“It proves that women’s football has truly taken on a new dimension within the commercial landscape. Visa’s commitment and excitement embodies the new heights we have reached with our sport.”