Mastercard has become the latest major brand to claim a slice of women’s football after signing up to become the first major official partner for Arsenal Women Football Club, and French team Olympique Lyonnais.
The tie-up will associate the teams with the banking brand, further cementing the sports new-found attractiveness to the corporate world following similar deals struck by the likes of Mars, Boots and Barclays in respect of women’s national teams.
Women's football is undergoing a growth period with an increase in interest from brands. James Anderson, business director at Publicis Sport and Entertainment, last month wrote in The Drum that the sport offers "a refreshing and significantly exciting opportunity for brands in a traditionally cluttered environment as it offers scale, greater value, is more accessible and is hugely untapped when compared to its male counterparts."
Addressing the recent deals, Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard said: “By investing significantly in women's football, as a professional and influential sport, we have an opportunity to directly impact the lives of athletes and help build sustainable programmes to which girls and women around the world can aspire.”
Arsenal’s commercial director, Peter Silverstone, added: “Mastercard’s partnership with us isn’t just an investment into our own team, but is a powerful statement for the women’s game at large. We’re delighted that Mastercard has partnered with our women’s team to help the brand reach a broader audience to show its investment in, and commitment, to women’s sport.”
In March Budweiser inked its first-ever sponsorship of women’s football after becoming an official partner of the England women’s team, shortly before Coca-Cola lent its backing to Women’s Football World on Channel 4.
And in the financial sector, Visa put a significant spend into the sport back in March.
Earlier this month, Octagon head of football Phil Carling wrote in The Drum that the "values-based proposition" is more than enough to bait sponsors despite the comparatively lower audiences than the men's game.