Visa becomes the first ever sponsor of UEFA women's football in a partnership running from 2018 until 2025.
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UEFA has announced a landmark multi-year partnership with Visa. The global payments technology company becomes the first ever UEFA sponsor dedicated to women's football, following the unbundling by UEFA of sponsorship rights from the men's game.
"We are delighted to announce this exciting and forward-thinking partnership with Visa and look forward to working together in new and imaginative ways to accelerate the already impressive growth of women's football," said UEFA's director of marketing, Guy-Laurent Epstein.
"Together we can provide memorable experiences across all UEFA's women's competitions, while the partnership will help to create a unique platform to showcase our footballing heroes," Epstein added. "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."
The move to revolutionise the traditional sports sponsorship model was undertaken to help continue to foster the rapid growth of women's football across Europe, and to create more commercial opportunities to develop the game even further.
The partnership will support women's football at all levels. As a result, Visa will become a main partner of the UEFA Women's Champions League, the UEFA Women's EURO, the UEFA Women's Under-19 and U17 Championships and the UEFA Women's Futsal EURO until 2025, as well as UEFA's football marketing platform Together #WePlayStrong, which is aimed at getting more girls and women to play football.
"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," said Charlotte Hogg, chief executive officer of Visa Europe.
"We are proud to announce Visa's groundbreaking partnership with UEFA to support and accelerate the growth of women's football throughout Europe. 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."
The unprecedented seven-year deal reflects the continued progress of women's football throughout Europe, as well as the success of the Together #WePlayStrong campaign.
Through the partnership, Visa will help amplify the campaign via co-branded content designed to change the image of the women's game and make football the most played sport by women and girls in Europe.
Together #WePlayStrong has already achieved significant success in partnering with global popstar Rita Ora on her European tour and received nearly six million views on the Press Play vlogs, a content series in which some of Europe's best women's professional players give an insight into their daily lives.
"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," said UEFA's head of women's football, Nadine Kessler.
"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.
"Partnering with such a brand confirms our belief that we have entered this new era in women's football at all levels of the game. The potential is limitless. We are proud and look forward to working closely with Visa, to draw on its vast experience in helping us to shape future growth in what are incredibly exciting times for the women's game."