UK banking group Barclays has signed a multi-million-pound deal as the first title sponsor of the English Women’s Super League.
Under the three-year deal, Barclays will sponsor the top-flight women’s football league from 2019-20 to 2021-2022.
As reported by BBC Sport, the deal is understood to be worth more than £10m ($13.2m/€11.6m) over the term.
When the deal goes live, the league will be rebranded as the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, with a £500,000 prize fund.
Previously, there was no official prize fund for WSL winners.
In a statement, the English Football Association described the partnership as “the biggest-ever investment in UK women’s sport by a brand.”
Kelly Simmons, director of the women’s professional game at the FA, said: “Barclays record, multi-million-pound commitment will impact all levels of the game, and will support our ambition to make the Barclays FA Women’s Super League the world’s most successful league, on and off the pitch.”
Barclays will also become the lead partner of the FA Girls’ Football School Partnerships, a nationwide scheme to increase female participation in school football.
Under the FA’s Gameplan for Growth strategy, the FA aims to double both participation and fan numbers for the women’s game in England over four years, from 2017 to 2020.
When the WSL was launched in 2011, it was an eight-team, semi-professional league. It now has 11 teams and is Europe’s only full-time professional women’s league.
After last summer’s restructuring of the English women’s leagues, the second tier renamed as the Women’s Championship.