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Liberty announced as major sponsor for A-League Women

A-League Women

The A-Leagues have announced non-bank lender Liberty as the first ever naming rights partner of the newly rebranded A-League Women’s competition for the 2021-22 season.

Commencing today, the multi-year deal includes naming rights partnership of the A-League Women’s competition, Final Series, and the Official Lending Partner of the A-Leagues. Liberty will also be an official Partner of the Isuzu UTE A League, A-League Youth and A-League eSports.

With the season beginning on Friday December 3, this partnership signifies a new dawn for elite football in Australia, as men’s and women’s competitions become partners at the top of the A-Leagues game – furthering football’s position as the country’s most inclusive sport to grow the game for everyone.

The investment also marks a milestone in women’s professional football, with interest in the game increasing in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

Announcing the partnership, A-Leagues Managing Director Danny Townsend stated:

“The A-Leagues is proud and excited to welcome Liberty as a new naming rights partner. The team shares our passion for football, for diversity and for empowering women to pursue their dreams.

“We have seen a significantly expanding interest in women’s football – from grassroots through to the Matildas. By investing in women’s professional football through Liberty A-League, we offer more pathways for emerging players, ensuring our world-class competition is truly sustainable”.

Liberty CEO James Boyle was delighted to further the company’s support and involvement in Australian sport.

“Through the Liberty A-League we reaffirm our support for women in professional sport. We are passionate about helping to provide the platform that women’s football deserves.

“As a pioneer of financial inclusion, we support those who forge their own path, both on and off the field. The athletes currently playing in the Liberty A-League embody this spirit – they are the trailblazers at the top of their game.”

In another milestone, from Friday December 3, the A-Leagues will unify its Facebook and Instagram channels, reinforcing its commitment to providing the best football fan experience across all Leagues.

FIFA’s commercial partnership structure unlocks opportunities

FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

For the first time in eight years, FIFA has introduced a new commercial partnership structure that will provide companies worldwide with increased opportunities to partner with soccer.

Three partnership variables have been launched which include women’s football, men’s football and Esports/gaming. As a starting point, brands will now be able to negotiate dedicated partnerships with women’s football and Esports.

FIFA are building on their Women’s Football strategy implemented from 2018, by launching a dedicated women’s soccer commercial vertical to show their commitment to making soccer more accessible for women and girls across the globe. Their main aim from this vertical is to accelerate the growth and equality of the women’s game.

As for opportunities that provides for Australia, it could be a key driver for broadening the business side in women’s soccer, as well as the ever-growing Esports.

FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman:

“This marks a groundbreaking moment to maximise the growth of the women’s game and its marketing appeal, as we create equal commercial models across Women’s and Men’s Football for the first time,” she said.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for brands who want to support women’s sport, help accelerate women’s equality, and wish to align themselves with the unparalleled momentum around women’s football.”

A dedicated partnerships structure for Esports will allow FIFA to further broaden its gaming footprint. The structure provides exciting opportunities to participate in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

Overall, FIFA’s new partnership structure includes the following:

  • All partners will receive extensive global commercial rights across national team tournaments.
  • Sponsors will receive global activation rights surrounding the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the FIFA World Cup and/or across all FIFAe competitions.
  • Tournament Supporters will be able to select territorial activation rights for any of the above listed tournaments.
  • FIFA partners continue to hold the highest level of association with global partner status and category exclusivity across competitions.
  • FIFA’s new commercial approach will enable brands to benefit from new opportunities to associate with FIFA’s brand for business-driven purposes

FIFA Chief Commercial Officer, Kay Madati, on the impact these changes will make:

“As we continually work to make football truly global, accessible and inclusive, we recognised the need for a nimble and customisable commercial structure that enables brands big and small, global and local, to connect with all aspects of the beautiful game,” he said.

“The new model will allow our partners to create more tailored programming and marketing activations that align directly with their strategic business goals, and connect them to the world’s most passionate fans, in the world’s most engaging sport.”

Danny Townsend takes up CEO role at Australian Professional Leagues

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have announced that Danny Townsend will step up to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Australian Professional Leagues (APL) have announced that current Managing Director Danny Townsend will step up to the role of Chief Executive Officer full-time in the first half of 2022, transitioning from his dual role as Sydney FC CEO.

Townsend is a highly-regarded sports executive who has had a great influence in the unrivalled period of success that Sydney FC has seen both on and off the field. He has also made huge progression in a dual role leading the APL’s first year of commercial, marketing and operational management for the A-Leagues.

APL Chairman Paul Lederer:

“In a year of significant developments and progress for APL, the transition of Danny Townsend as full-time CEO is one of the most important. Danny’s commercial acumen, passion for football and boundless energy stand him apart as the most dynamic leader in Australian sport.

“Danny and APL’s Executive Leadership Team have achieved significant results since professional football unbundled from football’s governing body in December 2020, including delivery of a new brand, a major broadcast rights deal with ViacomCBS and most recently the announcement of capital investment from Silver Lake.

“With this realised, and Danny Townsend leading APL in a full-time capacity, we can really accelerate APL’s digital transformation and support its continued momentum and ambitious vision for long-term sustainable and inclusive growth.”

Townsend regarding the appointment announcement:

“I am proud to have led Sydney FC to an exceptionally strong position, with an exciting future and two world class facilities, Sky Park and the new Sydney Football Stadium, less than 12 months away. I have no doubt the club will continue to flourish both on and off the field.

“My role as APL CEO will enable me to put all of my efforts into ensuring Sydney FC and every A-League club reaches their full potential. I look forward to building on the achievements of the past year and leading and delivering on the strategy to grow the game.”

Townsend’s transition to the APL will be completed once a full handover to the incoming Sydney FC Chief Executive is finalised.

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