Sergi Escudero |
Barcelona (EFE).- The Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand will arouse expectations this summer. Brands are positioned in their global growth.
“The ecosystem is very committed to the growth of women’s football,” says Joao Seabra, Visa’s marketing director in Spain and Portugal, in an interview with EFE. “The World Cup is a very interesting platform to promote the values of equality and empowerment of women. We want to encourage the new generations ”, he adds.
Beyond the usual sponsors of FIFA, in this World Cup the organization has created a category of exclusive sponsors for the tournament with the intention of capturing income that is distributed exclusively in women’s football. This World Cup will be the first to be played with 32 teams and to be held in the southern hemisphere.
The American multinational financial services company will be one of these specific sponsors and the exclusive provider of payment services inside and outside the World Cup stadiums. FIFA has also confirmed the presence of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank at the tournament.
Ask: What presence will your brand have in the Women’s World Cup this summer?
Answer: I was personally at the 2019 World Cup in France, where we were the technological ‘partner’ of the event. There was an amazing payment experience in and around the stadiums. We always want to improve.
P: Will the event represent a new step forward for women’s football?
R: I have no doubt that the World Cup will once again be a step forward despite the fact that from Spain and Portugal, due to time issues, it will be difficult to follow it because it will be held in the other part of the world. I have no doubt that it will be a spectacular event.
P: When did your company start betting on women’s soccer in the form of sponsorships?
R: The most important date was 2018, when we signed an agreement with UEFA. We were the first sponsor of UEFA women’s football. Now it is very obvious because there are many brands sponsoring women’s football, but then it was not. It was quite an important step. And, since 2007, we have been associated with FIFA, both in men’s and women’s football.
P: Why did you decide to invest in this sector?
R: It is a long-term commitment, we are not in women’s football for a tactical strategy. This happens within the framework of generating a positive social impact on society. There is a commitment to inclusion, equality and diversity in sport. In this sense, women’s football is a vehicle that allows us to promote these types of values and associate them with our brand.
P: Since 2018, when you reached the agreement with UEFA, what are the main signs of growth that you have seen in women’s football?
R: We have seen a very positive evolution in the visibility of women’s football, but there is still a lot to be done. One of the most important changes in recent years has been the growth in the number of sponsors. And also in the investment that is made in women’s football outside of the typical sponsorship.
P: Give an example, please.
A: Our company, for example, gives visibility to women’s football in the media. And other brands do something similar.
P: What are the other changes you have seen?
R: Now there are many more players. From little girls to older. This broadening of the base will generate more opportunities and this is a wheel that will bring more investment, more visibility and more sponsors. And, on the other hand, there has been a change of mentality in the perception of women’s football by the consumer.
P: You have just announced the second edition of The Second Half program, in collaboration with Liga F and LaLiga Business School. What does it consist of?
R: It is a program to help soccer players and ex-soccer players face the moment of withdrawal from the playing fields. We give them tools so that they can be successful right after finishing their football career.
P: What are these tools?
R: We help them manage their finances, their personal brand and their professional career, speak in public and enhance what they have learned in the field. There are many skills that they have, such as the capacity for effort and teamwork, which must be strengthened so that they can later use them in their professional life outside the soccer field.
P: What type of actions does your firm’s long-term commitment to women’s football include?
R: We have a five-year roadmap for sponsorships that include the FIFA World Cup and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
P: So, is the continuity of your agreements with FIFA and UEFA assured?
R: From a global point of view, our associations with UEFA and FIFA will continue, which will mean that we are in the Women’s Champions League and the Women’s World Cup, among other competitions. And, in Spain, we want to grow in investment and commitment.
P: How will they do it?
R: For example, in 2022 we entered a territory that would not be obvious for a brand like ours: eSports. We signed an agreement with the first women’s eSports team in Europe, Keres, originating in Spain.