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NWSL secures Budweiser sponsorship deal

On the day the United States Women’s National team secured the Women’s World Cup, with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in Lyon, France, the National Women’s Soccer League announced a commercial partnership with Budweiser.

As part of a multi-year partnership, Budweiser will become the first official beer sponsor of the NWSL and have naming rights to the league’s playoffs, championship game, MVP trophy, as well as a newly created “Most Valuable Supporter” award for the league’s biggest fan.

Budweiser will also activate the sponsorship locally, with support of individual teams and stadiums, while the company’s executives will work with the league’s players in the offseason in a sports business training program.

Notably, the partnership was created in collaboration with the United States Soccer Federation and Soccer United Marketing, a joint marketing arm between the USSF and Major League Soccer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

It is the second significant commercial deal the NWSL has secured since splitting from A+E Networks earlier this year. The NWSL now has full control of NWSL Media, the commercial, marketing and sponsorship arm that was previously a 50-50 joint venture between the league and A+E.

Last week, the NWSL announced a linear television partnership with ESPN, which covers the remainder of the 2019 season.

NWSL president Amanda Duffy told SportBusiness last month that the league was looking to use this summer’s Women’s World Cup to secure long-term gains  for the league, and these latest agreements represent an immediate boost in that direction.

“Given the overall increase in women’s sports – and specifically with interest to women’s soccer – we anticipate local revenue opportunities to increase and we also expect a larger impact from a national level as well during this year’s tournament and the months afterwards,” Duffy said.