Boots has signed a three-year deal to sponsor the women’s national football teams of every country in the UK and Ireland, having spotted an opportunity to align itself with the game.
The partnership marks the first time that any brand or retailer has sponsored all five FA women’s national teams. It will see Boots support England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland in the upcoming 2019 Women’s World Cup in France and the 2021 Women’s European Championships in England.
The clever play from the retailer comes as advertisers increasingly invest in women’s football.
Budweiser, which recently replaced Carlsberg as 'the official beer of England' has now extended its sponsorship to the women's side. In 2018, Mars renewed its own FA deal and extended the contract to the England women's and disability teams. Barclay's is getting in on the act too, inking a deal worth £10m to have the top flight league rebranded as the Barclays FA Women’s Super League from next season.
Boots' new partnership will give it access to an extensive suite of rights including match day ads and pitch-side branding. It will also run OOH, social, content and PR activity.
“It’s so exciting to see how women’s football has taken off over the last few years, especially as a retailer who is proud to champion women’s right to live well, feel better and look great,” said Helen Normoyle, marketing director at Boots UK.
The brand claims it’s always had a “strong heritage” of supporting women in sport, having founded its own women’s sports team in 1894.
Normoyle explained: “Via our partnership, we are excited to give the inspirational women in these teams the chance to tell their stories and to hopefully encourage other women to experience the amazing confidence that sport can bring”.
Misha Sher, worldwide vice president of MediaCom Sport & Entertainment, added: “Women’s football is going through a significant moment of change and this partnership will be transformative for the growth of the game. Boots have been supporting women for 170 years and will continue that commitment by elevating awareness and participation in women's game through this ground-breaking partnership with the five FAs.
"With plans to fully integrate the marketing of the partnerships across its 2,500 stores in UK and Ireland, Boots will provide women's football with unparalleled levels of exposure. This a great opportunity for the sport and its fans."
Since bringing Ogilvy on board as its advertising partner two years ago, Boot’s' brand proposition has been heavily focused on beauty and skincare. It’s above the line work has chosen to champion how these products make people feel on the inside; a message it's likely to use the FA deal to shout about.
Last month, the chain revealed plans for a major overhaul of its in-store beauty halls.