Gatorade Activates UEFA Euro 2020 Partnership Via World-First Training Programme For Female Match Officials

Gatorade UEFA Euro 2022 1

The world’s best selling sports drink Gatorade collaborated with UEFA (withy whom it has an official sponsorship through parent company PepsiCo’s portfolio partnership) on a first-of-its-kind initiative to optimise female match officials’ health and performance ahead of, and during the UEFA women’s Euro 2022 tournament: a program designed to assist elite female match officials with a range of personalised consultations on hydration, sports nutrition and menstruation, as well as the use of GX Sweat Patches during the games.

 

The project was run through the ‘Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI)’ which provided the Euro 2022 officials with access to a range of educational tools in sports nutrition – on the same elite professional level as received by professional athletes.

 

The idea behind the brand backed project emerged from an insight that match officials are a group of athletes who historically have not had the same level of support as the professional players they officiate over and yet they are expected to achieve the same levels of performance on the pitch.

 

Gatorade’s UEFA collaboration kicked off in January 2022 with a winter training camp attended by a sizeable group of tournament match officials including Stéphanie Frappart, Rebecca Welch, Cheryl Foster, Kateryna Monzul, Esther Staubli, Jana Adámková, Riem Hussein and Lina Lehtovaara. They were all provided with practical sports nutrition advice through bespoke one-on-one sessions hosted by GSSI scientists and focused on diet, hydration, preparation, and recovery at all stages of training.

 

The education and training programme also includes continued assessment and ongoing data collection and analysis.

 

The programme also included a strand focusing on education and information linked to menstrual cycles in relation to health and physical performance as the brand, property owner and the participants aim to break down barriers and normalise conversations about the impact of menstruation on sport.

 

Each match official also had access to individual nutrition counselling and personalised advice from GSSI scientists on how nutrition can be used to their advantage during physical training.

 

Each participating official also took part in sweat testing using Gatorade’s new-to-market GX Sweat Patches: a technology developed by GSSI to track individuals’ fluid loss, sweat rate, and sodium loss during exercise to monitor hydration and help advance performance. This meant that all participants received a personal sweat profile and were taught how to decipher the results to better understand their nutritional needs while training.

 

“We support everyone who wants to play and this goes beyond just players on the pitch, but everyone in the sport, including the elite match officials who put themselves through the same rigorous training,” explained PepsiCo SVP and CMO mark Kirkham. “Utilising our heritage and the expertise of GSSI we can help nurture and enhance performance to help take the game to new heights. Through working with the UEFA Women’s EURO, we have an amazing opportunity to make a meaningful difference in women’s football.”

 

UEFA Sports Scientist & Training Expert Professor Werner Helsen added: “The female match officials are the unsung heroes of elite football and we are grateful that through our ongoing partnership with Gatorade, they are getting access to expert knowledge and advice to help advance their skills and performance on the field.  Looking to the future, our ambition is to further build on the success of this program, which we have delivered with the help of Gatorade Sports Science Institute over the last 8 months to continue to provide the dedicated support the match officials need.”

 

 

Comment

 

PepsiCo has been a partner of the UEFA Women’s EURO since penning a multi-year partnership with UEFA Women’s football in 2020.

 

This five-year women’s football partnership see’s PepsiCo support female footballers at all levels through to summer 2025 linked to the UEFA Women’s Champions League, the UEFA Women’s EURO, the UEFA Women’s Under-19 and Under-17 Championships, and the UEFA Women’s Futsal EURO, as well as UEFA’s Together #WePlayStrong program which seeks to encourage more girls and women to play football.

 

 

 

 

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