SSE announced as Women's FA Cup sponsor
08 Jun , 2015 by SSE
The Football Association and SSE today announced a new four-year title sponsorship deal for the largest cup competition in women’s football, the Women’s FA Cup.
The seven-figure deal includes a commitment to invest in the women’s game with significant funding ring-fenced to create a country-wide programme of girls-only football activity. It also represents a landmark moment in the history of women's football with the first ever major sponsorship of the Women’s FA Cup competition. It signals the growth and stature of the women’s game.
Chelsea Ladies and Notts County Ladies will go head-to-head for the coveted trophy on Saturday 1 August, which will now be known as The SSE Women’s FA Cup.
The final takes place at Wembley Stadium for the first time. It will serve as a curtain raiser to the 2015/16 season and kick off a weekend of back-to-back showpiece games with the FA Community Shield taking place the following day.
Fittingly, on the eve of England’s World Cup campaign in Canada, over 100 girls descended on Wembley Stadium to mark the launch of the exciting partnership with SSE.
Commenting on the new deal, Heather Rabbatts, FA Board member and Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board said:
“The FA is committed to ensuring that women’s football gets the status and investment it deserves – the buzz of anticipation around the FIFA Women’s World Cup is testimony to the appeal of the game.
“Similarly at grassroots, we as an organisation are committed to ensuring that there are access points for girls and women to enjoy the game across all levels and abilities. This agreement with SSE meets both these ambitions and gives us the opportunity to build on all that we have already achieved. Dreaming of playing at Wembley in The SSE Women’s Cup Final can now be a reality for girls too.”
Alan Young, SSE Managing Director of Corporate Affairs, said:
“We’re entering this partnership with one simple ambition – to make a difference to the future of women’s football and sport.
“SSE’s investment will help drive the women’s game forward and together with The FA we will help continue to grow the sport, giving thousands more girls regular access to 'the beautiful game'.
“We’re already supporting the talent of tomorrow with our SSE Next Generation programme, helping 100 young athletes across Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland reach their potential.
“Bringing 100 girls here to Wembley is a fitting way to launch our partnership and inspire the footballers of the future.”
Georgia Stanway, SSE Next Generation star and England U17 international said:
“I’m very proud SSE is now sponsoring the SSE Women’s FA Cup.
“This partnership with SSE and The FA will allow many more young girls to experience football in a supportive environment with girls of a similar age. Through the Next Generation programme, SSE has already been a great support to me in my career and I’m delighted it will now be helping many more young girls develop a love and passion for the game.”
This year, 259 teams entered the Women’s FA Cup. Next season, entrants will resume rivalries from Sunday 6 September 2015 when First Round Qualifying takes place. The 2016 SSE Women’s FA Cup Final will be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 14 May, 2016.