Polish Ekstraklasa backed by Stihl to support the league

Stihl and Ekstraklasa

Stihl has announced that they will be renewing their agreement with the Polish Ekstraklasa to continue for a fifth straight year, this time becoming an official partner of the league.

Stihl will be utilising this agreement to support the development of grassroots club football in Poland as well as introduce a series of official Ekstraklasa products for sale in a bid to engage with the fans a lot more due to their upgraded partner status.

Since its foundation more than 90 years ago, Stihl has grown from a one-man business into a global chainsaw and outdoor power equipment manufacturer.

Stihl is represented in more than 160 countries now and has a large European base in particular, making it extremely recognisable to the fans of Ekstraklasa.

Tomasz Cichoński, President of the Management Board of Andreas Stihl, discussed how this partnership benefits them.

“Cooperation with Ekstraklasa is an important step in the development of our brand on the Polish market. We have been involved in sport for years, but now we want to join the emotions accompanying this most popular discipline among Poles and act for its development. Cichonski said via press release.

“Football is particularly close to us, because it is our products that facilitate the perfect preparation of green areas for practicing this sport and improving football skill.”

Marcin Animucki, President of the Management Board of Ekstraklasa SA discussed what the goal was with this cooperation with Stihl.

“We are happy to welcome the Stihl brand among the official partners of Ekstraklasa games. We are glad that such a recognized international company has decided to become involved in football competitions and take advantage of the promotion opportunities in our league,” he added via media release.

“We hope that thanks to this cooperation, we will inspire people to become interested in Ekstraklasa and support them at stadiums.”

As a result of the agreement between Ekstraklasa SA and Stihl Polska, official products with the Ekstraklasa logo – including lawnmowers – will appear in over 800 points of sale throughout the country. The Stihl logo will be displayed in stadiums during matches, TV broadcasts and on the official website and social media channels.

The partnership has a clear goal to improve grassroots Polish football and use a recognisable brand to further market the Ekstraklasa across Europe.

Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program a key investment in Western Australia

Western Australia events are receiving significant support through the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24.

The WA State Government has invested over $630,000 to a host of sporting bodies across a vast number of codes.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • build capacity and capability of the sport and recreation workforce and volunteers to plan, secure and/or deliver quality sport and active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for talented WA athletes, coaches and officials to participate at a national and/or international level in their home environment
  • provide opportunities for the public to participate in sport and/or active recreation events
  • provide opportunities for regional Western Australians to experience and conduct major sporting events and sport development initiatives in a regional location.

The program comprises three categories:

  • event projects (up to $15,000)
  • event hosting (up to $50,000)
  • the Country Sport Enrichment Scheme (up to $30,000).

In Round 1 of the Sport and Recreation Events Funding Program 2023-24, one of the successful applicants was Football West, who ran 2024 Goldfields Regional Festival of Football – a seven-day community engagement event that improved football capacity in the wider Goldfields area. After receiving $24,200, Football West’s main goal is to increase participation in the region.

There is still time to apply for the next round of funding, which closes 5:00pm on February 26, 2024.

For full information and eligibility to apply, you can find it here.

WSL eyeing enormous 150% increase to broadcast rights deal

In a historic first for football in the UK, every single Women’s Super League match is set to be broadcasted live from next season across multiple channels.

The WSL tender document issued to broadcasters this month features all 132 league games, with 56 to be sold exclusively and the remaining 76 available on a non-exclusive basis.

Under the terms of the existing deal that expires at the end of the current season, Sky broadcast 35 matches-a-season and the BBC 22, with the rest streamed for free on the FA’s website.

The tender document is asking for a huge £20 million ($38.48 million) a year TV deal and this 150% increase to the value of its broadcasting deal is far from surprising following the explosion of the women’s game. This figure is set to be confirmed as soon as they can find the right suitors.

In an attempt to gain an increase from the existing £7.75 million ($14.91 million) a year deal, the WSL have responded by making every match available for broadcast, which the league hoped would attract bids from beyond current rights holders Sky Sports and the BBC, It looks to be working.

Sky Sports and the BBC are set to bid again on the rights and extend the current partnership whilst it is said that this potential deal is also attracting networks like TNT Sports and DAZN.

The Premier League and EFL have stood firm on the UEFA blackout that suggests all 3pm Saturday matches are not shown on TV, to encourage locals to attend matches in person. This means the WSL will have to work around it and it is likely that Saturday lunchtime and Sunday afternoons remain as the most common kick-off times.

There is little the WSL are having to do to persuade broadcasters into putting their hands up for these rights, which is a testament to the sport’s current growth and upward trajectory it is trending towards.

FA Director of Women’s football, Kelly Simmons, explained how important it was to secure this monumental broadcast deal.

“While we’ve been developing this it’s been so hard to sit on it because it’s so exciting for the women’s game. It is transformational,” Simmons said in an interview with Guardian Sport.

“When I first came into this role, we said that we really thought women’s football could really break into the mainstream and this is mainstream, this is prime slots on television, big audiences, week in week out.”

This deal in particular launches women’s football into the mainstream and helps improve the quality of the product which goes a long way to opening the eyes of a huge audience to its impact as a sport and socially.

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