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NWSL’s Nike extension is league’s ‘most substantial’ sponsorship deal to date

US sportswear firm will continue to supply women’s soccer league’s kits in long-term extension.

22 November 2021 Sam Carp

Getty Images

  • Nike, which is a founding partner of the NWSL, previously extended partnership in 2019
  • New contract will run until end of 2030, according to The Washington Post

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) secured a long-term extension of its partnership with US sportswear giant Nike as it wrapped up a troubled season over the weekend.

The financial terms of the deal were not made public, but North America’s leading women’s soccer league described it as ‘the most substantial agreement’ in NWSL history.

The deal is a major vote of confidence in the NWSL, which saw its commissioner Lisa Baird resign in October in the wake of a sexual coercion scandal that rocked the league.

A founding partner of the NWSL in 2012, Nike last extended its partnership with the league in 2019, agreeing to continue to supply teams with uniforms, apparel and equipment until the end of 2022. The Washington Post reports that the new pact will expire in 2030.

“Since the beginning, Nike and the NWSL together have driven significant growth of this great game for all, in the US and around the world, and we couldn’t be more excited to extend this foundational partnership well into our second decade of play,” said Marla Messing, the NWSL’s interim chief executive.

“With this agreement, Nike is showing the world again what it means to support athletes, helping to grow the opportunities available for them to compete, and supporting the NWSL and its athletes in its effort to remain the premier destination for the world’s most elite players.”

The NWSL secured four new national sponsors in 2021 and now counts eight brands among its portfolio of partners, which in addition to Nike also includes the likes of Mastercard, Budweiser and Verizon.

The Washington Spirit were crowned NWSL champions for the first time on 20th November, beating the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 thanks to an extra-time header from Kelley O’Hara. Next season will be the league’s tenth campaign.

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