WOMEN’S football in Scotland has scored a double success by signing a deal with its first major sponsor – energy giants SSE.
SSE will invest across the women’s game and sponsor the new SSE Scottish Women’s Cup as well as becoming official partners for the Scotland Women’s National Team.
The deal, which is the first ever joint sponsorship agreed by the Scottish FA and SWF, will kick-off ahead of this year’s SSE Scottish Women’s Cup Final in November.
It marked a successful week for women’s football in Scotland with Anna Signeul’s side qualifying for a major tournament for the first time when they booked their place in the EUFA Euro 2017 tournment in the Netherlands.
In the domestic game there have been even more firsts, with Scotland now allocated two places in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. This season Hibernian join Glasgow City, who have long blazed a trail in the competition, with a tie against European giants Bayern Munich in October.
Scotland National Coach Signeul said: “This is a very exciting announcement, and one that recognises the hard work taking place on and off the pitch in Scotland over the past few years.
“We’re delighted SSE will be working with us to support the women’s game in this country, and I’m sure this new investment will help us to continue to grow the game, and break new ground.”
SWF Joint Chairwoman, Viv MacLaren, said: “We would like to thank SSE for its investment, which will significantly help us to realise our aim of ensuring every girl or woman who wants to play football has the opportunity.
“We are delighted that, amongst other benefits, players in the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup will be rewarded for their hard work and dedication with the first ever prize fund.”
John Stewart, SSE Director of Human Resources, said: “SSE is proud to be the first major sponsor of women’s football in Scotland entering this partnership with one simple ambition – to make a difference to the future of women’s football and sport.
“We have already made a commitment to supporting women’s football through The SSE Women’s FA Cup but see this investment as an opportunity to help drive the women’s game forward in Scotland, inspiring both future players and supporters of women’s football.
“SSE also sees the partnership as an opportunity to increase grassroots support for girls with the goal to get more girls playing the beautiful game.”
The move brings Scotland into line with England, where SSE has sponsored the Women’s FA Cup since 2015. SSE also back the FA’s girls-only participation programme, Girls United and support a ’kids go free’ initiative for the final.
SSE also sponsor the Women’s Invitational, a bespoke business event that provides female business executives from all industries with a chance to mix golf and business and support up and coming athletes through the SSE Next Generation programme, which helps 100 young athletes across Scotland, England, Wales.
The sponsorship, exact details of which have not been announced, means that for the first time the 2016 SSE Scottish Women’s Cup winners, will collect prize money, with a prize money pot to be extended to earlier rounds from next season.
This year’s final will be played at Superseal Stadium, Hamilton, on Sunday November 6, and will be broadcast live on BBC Alba.