Manchester City Women enter first-ever stadium naming rights deal in WSL history

Manchester City Joie Stadium

Manchester City Women have agreed a stadium naming rights partnership with Joie for their Academy Stadium, the home of their women’s team.

Joie started their partnership with City Women’s team in March earlier this year to become the club’s Official Family Partner and will continue that deal alongside acquiring the stadium naming rights.

Both parties pledge to improve family friendly services at the stadium, as well as offering the best possible matchday experience for fans of all ages across all stadium facilities.

This marks significance as it becomes the first stadium naming rights deal for a Women’s Super League club. The newly renamed Joie Stadium will play host to Manchester City’s second WSL game of the upcoming season against Chelsea on October 8.

The stadium, which opened in 2014, is the only purpose-built stadium in the Women’s Super League and is the home of Manchester City Women. Its current capacity is 7,000 and also hosts many of City’s Elite Development Squad and youth team matches.

Founded in 2011 and originating in the UK, Joie is a family brand that works tirelessly, with families at its heart, to create safety inspired, innovatively designed products that makes parents’ lives that bit easier.

Drawing on decades of industry experience, their devotion to infant products is aimed at doing what is right for parents, children and the environment.

Further internal and external branding featuring the Joie logo will appear across the stadium, with Joie continuing to get involved at every Women’s team fixture.

Gavin Makel, Managing Director of Manchester City Women, explained the importance of this deal for the team in a club press release.

“Today is a really significant moment for Manchester City, as we welcome Joie as Official Stadium Naming Partner,” he said.

“Not only is this a huge moment for Manchester City Women but also for the wider club as the stadium changes name for the first time since its opening in 2014.

“A Women’s team partner since March this year, Joie shares our commitment to family values and high standards, and we’re delighted the brand has chosen to extend its current relationship.

“It is a further reflection of the importance, growth and commercial appeal of Manchester City Women and the wider women’s game, and we are excited to work together with Joie to maximise opportunities for families at our matches.”

David Welsh, Senior Managing Director of Joie, echoed the positive sentiment of the club in regard to this new deal.

“Joie is a family-first brand committed to making childhood and family days out as joyful as possible,” he added via media release.

“We believe that football offers an unforgettable experience for families and by partnering with Manchester City Women and becoming the Official Stadium Naming Partner, we aim to make it truly accessible for all – whether that’s families with babies or parents of older children who will love playing in the Fan Zone.

“We’re incredibly proud of the steps we are making to help provide an all-inclusive experience and are committed to further developing our offer and ensuring that the Joie Stadium is one of the most family-friendly in the Women’s Super League.”

The deal is another step forward for Manchester City women’s team and Women’s football as they gear up for the most anticipated Women’s Super League season in history which kicks off on October 1.

Global Institute of Sport and former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor launch ‘study and play’ academy in Dubai

Global Institute of Sport (GIS) has announced an expansion into the Middle East by partnering with leading football performance specialists The Player, co-founded by former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor.

Aspiring footballers from across the globe can now study a GIS university degree and immerse themselves in an elite football environment with the stunning surroundings of Dubai.

The new ‘Study & Play: Dubai’ initiative provides footballers of all levels with an unprecedented opportunity to train and play in state-of-the-art facilities under the guidance of UEFA A licenced coaches. Alongside their football, students studying a specialist GIS online sports degree will receive local academic support, as well as be part of a global cohort of GIS students studying the same degree course.

Open to students from across the world to move to Dubai, successful applicants will be able to immerse themselves in the Middle East’s emerging football market, gain cutting-edge skills and apply for sports work placements that will shape their future both on and off the field.

The Player Co-Founder and former Newcastle United player Steven Taylor commented:

“This partnership with GIS offers a fantastic opportunity for young athletes. Education is one of our four main focuses at The Player, and we’re able to offer high level performance training alongside this education.”

Fellow The Player Co-Founder and UEFA A licenced coach Sam White added:

“We’re really proud to be introducing this partnership with Global Institute of Sport, and being able to offer young professionals and talented young athletes the opportunity to study a degree and play or work within the world of football in Dubai at the same time.”

GIS President and CEO Sharona Friedman stated:

“GIS was founded with the intention of bringing the best learning and education from the world of sport together so that students are able to graduate with a holistic understanding of best practice from around the globe.

“We are delighted to partner with The Player to provide an additional immersive opportunity for students to study and train in an elite football environment, whilst also bringing our education model to a new region, which will be at the forefront of sports business and performance for the decades to come.”

The GIS degrees available to study as part of this opportunity are:

All programmes are delivered entirely online with the exception of MSc Football Coaching & Analysis, which is largely online plus two residential weeks in either London, Miami or Melbourne.

For more information on Study & Play: Dubai, you can visit the link here: www.GIS.sport/dubai.

FIFA implement measures to protect female players and coaches

FIFA has announced several amendments to the current Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (RSTP). These changes have been approved by the FIFA Council by May 2024 and have been brought into effect from June 1.

These changes are majorly focused on women and the impact that menstruation and pregnancy have on their careers.

A meeting of key stakeholders and FIFA members resulted in these new regulations advancing the women’s game.

These include:

  • FIFA female players and coaches can now receive a minimum of 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
  • A minimum of 8 weeks of paid absence for female coaches and players who adopt a child under the age of 2.
  • Also, a minimum of 8 weeks paid absence from the birth of the child if they are not the biological mother (for example same-sex parenthood).
  • Players are entitled to full remuneration if they are absent from training or games due to menstruation or pregnancy health reasons.
  • There is increased support for female players in contacting families during national team contexts to ease pressure on children and mothers.

FIFA Chief Legal & Compliance Officer Emilio García Silvero has commented on the recent changes:

“FIFA is committed to implementing a dynamic regulatory framework that is sound and suitable for the increasing needs of female players and coaches,” he said via media release.

“In order for the game to further flourish, it’s key that we have a holistic approach towards player well-being, including the legal aspects.”

This is a huge advancement in the game’s equality mission as FIFA has recognised and actively planned to ease the physical, psychological and social dimensions of pregnancy and menstruation for women athletes.

These regulations fit Goal 2 in FIFA’s Strategic Objectives for the Global Game: 2023-2027, which describe the organisation’s commitment to exploring and implementing further safeguards for player and coach welfare.

FIFA Chief Football Women’s Officer Dame Sarai Bareman outlined the importance of placing women’s physical health in the legal and mainstream dialogue of the sport.

“When you’re playing sport for a living, and in a professional environment, we have to factor in that the female menstrual cycle can also impact on your ability to deliver within your role,” she added via media release.

“So, it’s important that we protect … those that are affected by their menstrual cycles in a way that it doesn’t put at risk their employment situation with their club and, ultimately, their ability to earn money.”

This announcement shows the players are becoming the major stakeholders in laws and regulations around their welfare.

This is an important strategy for the equality of the game by making sure that women’s sporting careers are not put on hold or impacted by their natural body function or raising a child.

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