CUPRA becomes official automotive partner of the Socceroos and Matildas

CUPRA, Australia’s newest car and lifestyle brand, is teaming up with Football Australia to support the professional development of men’s and women’s football in Australia.

Announced on Wednesday following the Commonwealth Bank Matildas’ friendly against New Zealand on Tuesday night, CUPRA becomes the official automotive partner of the men’s Socceroos and women’s Commonwealth Bank Matildas national teams in one of the most exciting periods in the sport’s Australian history.

As part of the agreement, CUPRA will feature on the Socceroos’ training apparel and the parties will collaborate on content campaigns and fan experiences. No stranger to igniting the passion of football fans everywhere, CUPRA is also the global official partner and official automotive partner of FC Barcelona in Spain.

The CUPRA brand, proudly hailing from Barcelona, is known for its emotional design and spirited performance, and is no better encapsulated than by the brand’s evocative cross-over SUV, the CUPRA Formentor.

To celebrate the announcement, CUPRA and Football Australia collaborated to create an action-packed digital spot featuring some of Australia’s hottest up-and-coming football talent and National Team players. The film, which depicts a neon-lit rooftop game of street football being joined by Australia’s best players, also unveils the CUPRA Formentor – its first appearance in Australia prior to launch.

“Football is the world game and a sport that invokes enormous passion in fans everywhere,” CUPRA Australia Director Ben Wilks said.

“To be partnering with our national women’s and men’s team throughout not one, but three global tournaments is a source of immense pride for the entire CUPRA Tribe, and we can’t wait to get behind the teams in their quest for glory, and share our passion with the teams’ fan base of over seven million people.”

Football Australia CEO James Johnson was pleased to be partnering with CUPRA, a brand that already has strong ties to football.

“Football Australia is proud to have partnered with CUPRA, a new and exciting performance car brand that will bring great energy to the Australian market,” Johnson said.

“Over the past 18 months we have worked hard to align football with commercial partners that believe in our sport, and recognise our game’s unique ability to unite and excite Australians.

“CUPRA has impressed us with its bold vision for the future, and we’re delighted that CUPRA has chosen football, and specifically our engaging and iconic national teams, as their first partner in the Australian market.”

This partnership with Football Australia marks the very first collaboration for CUPRA in Australia, which will officially commence trading mid-this year with the opening of the brand’s inner city CUPRA Garage spaces in Australian capital cities.

Staffed by passionate CUPRA Masters, the Garage spaces will serve as a central beacon for the brand, while also becoming a local hub for the growing CUPRA Tribe – an international collective of fans and like-minded people, bound by a shared love of driving.

Unlike other car brands, CUPRA will offer its customers a unique and bespoke brand experience and, in conjunction with its CUPRA Garages, will lean into digital commerce, embracing a hybrid agency sales model.

Always progressive, CUPRA also offers fans and customers the chance to come together and experience the brand online, recently unveiling its own digital world within the Metaverse.

As part of its collaboration with Football Australia, the brand will also be delivering a range of exciting experiences and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the fans and players at all levels of the game.

Launching in Australia with a range of performance vehicles powered by petrol and plug-in-hybrid engine technology, CUPRA has also recently confirmed its highly emotional vehicle line-up, which will launch with the CUPRA Leon hatch, the CUPRA Ateca SUV and the CUPRA Formentor cross-over.

More details on the Australian launch of the CUPRA brand and its distinct line-up will be available in the lead-up to the brand’s mid-2022 launch.

Staff Writer
Soccerscene is committed to promoting, enhancing and growing the soccer industry in Australia. We believe soccer news has captured the attention of grassroots soccer clubs, apparel and equipment suppliers – which extends to governing bodies, club administrators and industry decision makers. Many of the auxiliary products and services support the growth of the soccer industry in Australia and Asia, a passion we also share and want to express through our work.

Premier League continues talks on cost control and EFL funding

Premier League club bosses are holding further talks regarding cost control measures for clubs competing in European football and additional funding for the EFL.

The top flight is examining the introduction of a model along similar lines to UEFA’s squad cost ratio, which by 2025-26 will cap the spending of clubs involved in European competitions on wages, transfer fees and agent costs at 70 per cent of revenue.

It is understood that clubs in the Premier League not competing in European competitions will be allowed more leeway on spending, with a ratio of around 85 per cent of revenue having been discussed. This is potentially to ensure a more level playing field for mid table Premier League clubs who are struggling to break that barrier.

There is a major roadblock, however, in these talks with relegated Premier League clubs still earning parachute payments in their first season back in the Championship and being able to continue working to the 85 per cent ratio whilst the bottom half Championship clubs are working on a much tighter budget, closer to the 70 per cent UEFA mark.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters spoke about these talks advancing and what it means for the future of both leagues.

“We have some proposals out for consultation with our clubs about moving and aligning more with the UEFA system,” Masters said at the Culture, Media and Sport committee.

“Some of the issues that are still at debate between the EFL and the Premier League and internally within the Premier League itself are about trying to find a resolution on exactly how the financial regulatory system will work in the future.

“There’s an area of disagreement between us on how cost controls are going to work. Because obviously if you’re going to put more money into a system, that system has to be properly regulated. That system has yet to be fully agreed on how Championship clubs, how relegated clubs and how Premier League clubs operate a common system.” he concluded.

In terms of the extra funding agreement being discussed, EFL Chairman Rick Parry announced that his competition was prepared to accept an amount that would equate to 14.75 per cent of the two competitions’ net media revenues, which he said worked out at an extra £125million ($240 million) a year.

Whilst this is a huge positive for the footballing ladder in England, there is still a debate amongst clubs and representatives over how the extra funding to the EFL should be paid out.

Recently relegated sides are already working on a bigger budget, whilst sides in the bottom half are struggling to pay player wages with this disparity being completely unacceptable.

So it definitely begs the question, does majority of the extra £125million ($240 million) a year go towards helping bottom clubs compete in the long term? or would that be a stain on the league’s integrity and fair play values?

Votes were not casted in last week’s meetings regarding cost control measures or extra funding, but reports suggest that a conclusion is being made swiftly with both parties eager to agree on a fair deal.

MLS NEXT Pro continues to expand with Connecticut United addition

Connecticut United FC joins MLS Next Pro

Connecticut (CT) United FC will join the ever-growing MLS NEXT Pro League in 2025, in a move that promises to reinvigorate the US state through investment in football infrastructure.

CT United becomes the fifth independent team to join US football’s third-tier national competition, which serves as a valuable development tool for young players at the 27 existing Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs.

It joins teams from Jacksonville, Florida and Chattanooga – who were recently announced by the MLS NEXT organisation.

Chattanooga FC have been competing at state-level for 15 years, allowing it to join the competition in 2024 alongside fellow independent club, Carolina Core FC.

Jacksonville Armada are expected to enter alongside CT United and a team from Cleveland, Ohio, in 2025.

The nucleus of CT United’s football operation will be based in Connecticut’s capital city, Bridgeport, after its Planning and Zoning Commission approved a project for a waterfront football-specific stadium.

The stadia will be a part of a larger infrastructure plan to create a mixed-use destination for retail, residential, and community zones. Bridgeport’s Mayor, Joseph Ganim, says the city is ready to drive the project.

“Bridgeport is in the midst of a renaissance, rebranding from an industrial city to now the capital of arts and entertainment of Connecticut,” he said via media release.

“I am proud to announce that MLS NEXT Pro will join that landscape in providing entertainment opportunities for Bridgeport residents and the region at large.”

The club’s formation represents the first foray into sports ownership for the Connecticut Sports Group (CTSG), an organisation founded and led by Connecticut local and technology entrepreneur, André Swanston.

Though in its infant stages, the organisation relies primarily upon its partnership with the University of Connecticut, and minor investors within the state.

Swanston, 42, becomes not just one of the youngest principal owners of a football club in the country, but also making a difference as one of the few Black sports owners in US sport overall.

“As CT United FC embarks on its MLS NEXT Pro journey, I want to extend deep gratitude to the incredible fans, community leaders and government officials who have embraced our vision – I am confident that, united, Connecticut can compete against anyone,” he proclaimed via press release.

“We are committed to building the infrastructure – from a free youth academy to a state-of-the-art stadium – needed to propel Connecticut to the highest levels of soccer.”

The formation of CT United represents an exciting prospect for the people of Connecticut, who will be eager to see CTSG deliver on its vision to ‘create unforgettable experiences that inspire communities.’

It also showcases Major League Soccer’s continuing expansion, and intent to re-invigorate communities across North America.

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