Boots Kicks Off Women’s Soccer Sponsorship Strategy Via Deals With 5 Football Associations

Early April saw the UK health and beauty retailer Boots unveil a new major soccer sponsorship strategy with landmark women’s football investments led by penning three-year partnerships with the five football associations of the British Isles.


The partnerships were unveiled through an official PR push with the tie-ups simultaneously announced across the brand’s digital and social channels with a campaign featuring the hashtag #GoalPower and led by a video that aims to drive viewers to a Boots women’s football microsite at https://www.boots.com/womens-football: primarily on YouTube,






and Facebook.



The Wallgreens owned retailer has penned partnerships with the women’s national teams from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and it marks the first time that a brand has partnered with all five women’s national teams.


(Vauxhall was a former partner of the so called four home nations).


The five-strand sponsorship strategy will provide Boots with a comprehensive set of rights spanning match-day advertising and pitch-side branding, plus player appearances and hospitality.


Boots will activate the sponsorships across its through-the-line marketing and all of its 2,500 shops in the UK and Ireland.


The work will focus on inspirational storytelling aimed at generating active participation across the region (by both young and will leverage the upcoming 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and the 2021 Women’s European Championships in England.


The deal was brokered through MediaCom Sports & Entertainment and Worldwide VP Misha Sher commented that this partnership set was transformative for the brand and for the growth of the women’s game as women’s football goes through a significant moment of change.


“Boots has been supporting women for 170 years and will continue that commitment by elevating awareness and participation in women’s game through this ground-breaking partnership with the five FAs,” said Sher,


“With plans to fully integrate the marketing of the partnerships across its 2,500 stores in UK and Ireland, Boots will provide women’s football with unparalleled levels of exposure. This a great opportunity for the sport and its fans.”


Helen Normoyle, Marketing Director at Boots UK, added: “It’s so exciting to see how women’s football has evolved and really taken off over the last few years, especially as a retailer who is proud to champion women’s right to live well, feel better and look great.


“Boots has always had a strong heritage of supporting women and in fact we even founded our very own women’s sports team as early as 1894. 43% of women believe there aren’t many female sporting role models, but we know that this simply isn’t true.


“Via our partnership we are excited to give these inspirational women a further opportunity to tell their stories to help encourage other women to experience the transformative confidence sport can bring.”


Mark Bullingham, the new English FA CEO and former Chief Commercial and Football Development Officer at the English FA said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Boots as Official Partner of the England Women’s Team, in what is a hugely exciting time for women’s football.


“It’s important that we partner with brands that share our passion for raising the profile of the sport and the ability to help us do so. I look forward to seeing us work together to make The Lionesses household names and inspiring the next generation of girls to take up the game.”


While for the Football Association of Wales, the deal is the biggest commercial agreement in Welsh women’s sport history.


FA Wales Chief Executive Jonathan Ford commented: “Boots want to inspire women to be their best self and we at the FAW want to inspire women to be their best self in football and achieve their potential on and off the field, whether that’s as an elite player, someone who plays for fun, a coach, referee or even wider in the game.


“We want to partner with brands who can support us in raising awareness around the women’s game in Wales, to challenge perceptions and come on the journey with us to reach our ambitious target of 20k girls playing in Wales by 2024.


“It’s the biggest sponsorship deal to date for women’s sport in Wales – we hope that a successful partnership with Boots will highlight the benefits to brands considering sponsoring women’s sport in Wales, and we can move forward to secure further investment into the women’s game. Boots are paving the way for commercial brands to get behind Women’s Sport in Wales.”




Commercial investment in women’s sport and football in particular has been building momentum over recent months and this deal solidifies its move into the sports marketing mainstream.


Indeed, the Boots’ announcement follows recent women’s football deals ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup involving brands such as Adidas ‘Equal Pay For Equal Play’ initiative,



official match ball,



and wider ‘She Breaks Barrier’s initiative (see case study),


Nike’s Women’s World Cup kit launch approach and ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign (see case study)


plus Budweiser



and Lucozade Sport’s tie-ups with the Lionesses,



as well as Visa’s 7-year #WePlayStrong UEFA women’s football partnership,




and Barclays WSL title partnership.



The Barclays deal sees the former Premier League title partner (and current official banking partner) become the new title partner of the FA Women’s Super League (WSL) in a sponsorship described in March as the “biggest ever investment by a brand in UK women’s sport.”


The three-year, multi-million-pound WSL agreement, running from the 2019-20 season to July 2022, adding to Barclays’ sports portfolio. The bank is currently Official Banking Partner of the Premier League, having been its title sponsor under the previous model.


As part of the new WSL agreement, The FA and Barclays will work together to drive the growth of the women’s game at a grassroots level: with Barclays becoming the lead partner of the FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships (a nationwide scheme to help develop girls’ access to football at school) and Barclays will also collaborate with The FA and The Youth Sport Trust to support the development and delivery of 100 Girls’ Football School Partnerships, drawing on experience from its grassroots Barclays Spaces for Sport programme.


The Boots deal sees another beauty brand invest in the women’s sport sponsorship space: other brands in the sector include Avon’s shirt sponsorship with Liverpool FC (see case study).


The FA itself has been rolling out inventive marketing promoting the women’s game and encouraging increased participation: including the ‘For Girls’ strand of its #ForAll game growing diversity initiative (see case study).


There is no surprise that there is a scramble to sponsor women’s sports when considering that recent statistics from sports marketing agency Two Circles show that attendances for women’s sport in the UK have grown 38% year-on-year since 2013 to reach 682,000 in 2018.












The FA







MediaCom Sports & Entertainment




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