Energy company SSE has been unveiled as the new title sponsor of the Women’s FA Cup, the top knockout tournament in English women’s club football.
The deal will run for four years, from 2015-16 to 2018-19.
The 2015 FA Cup final will take place on August 1 between Chelsea and Notts County at Wembley Stadium in London – the venue for the men’s version of the FA Cup – for the first time.
SSE agreed the deal with the Football Association, the sport’s governing body in England and the operator of the tournament. It is the first time that the competition has attracted a title sponsor.
The “multi-million-pound” agreement 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 around FA Women's Cup events.
“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,” said Heather Rabbatts, FA board member and chair of the inclusion advisory board. “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.”
Alan Young, SSE managing director of corporate affairs, added: “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.”