Avon paves the way for a new era in women's football
Avon is the first female-focused brand to sponsor an FA Women’s Super League club
In a landmark moment for women’s football, Avon Products Inc announced a ground breaking sponsorship as the beauty giant becomes Principal Partner of the UK's Liverpool Ladies Football Club and the Club’s Official Ladies Beauty Partner. Together Avon and Liverpool Ladies FC, herald a new dawn in women’s football, as the partnership will see Avon become the teams’ first independent shirt sponsor to that of its male counterpart. Furthermore, for the first time in history, Avon will become the first female-focused brand to sponsor an FA Women’s Super League club.
Andrea Slater, General Manager of Avon UK said: “Avon’s purpose is to inspire and create a world with more empowered women. This sponsorship aims to inspire women all over the world to drive real change in women’s football - breaking down social barriers, challenging stereotypes, and empowering young girls and women to play the sport that they love.
"This sponsorship is another stride forward in our support for women and one that we’re approaching with whole hearted commitment as we embark on this new and exciting venture together. The teams and professionals we have spoken to on this journey are truly inspirational women, working together to achieve their goals, and we are very excited to be sponsoring Liverpool Ladies Football Club and supporting the women through all of their future successes.”
Billy Hogan, Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer, Liverpool Football Club, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Avon to the Liverpool Ladies FC family as their first Principal Partner.
“Avon is an iconic women’s brand with a rich history and shares the same core values as Liverpool Ladies Football Club. We are looking forward to a fruitful partnership that will help bring women’s football to the top of the agenda.”
In the 1920s, football was deemed a sport “unsuitable for women” in England; ever since the ban was lifted in the 1970s, the ladies sport has been on the back foot. Avon, the company for women, is therefore pledging its commitment to the sport by supporting women’s football, giving the team the recognition, support, and equality they truly deserve.
A brief history of women’s football in the UK
1895: The first women's football match. North beat South 7-1.
1920: The biggest crowd to date for a women’s game. On Boxing Day, 53,000 watch Dick Kerr's Ladies beat St Helen's Ladies 4-0.
1921: The FA bans women from playing on Football League grounds. “…the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged."
1971: The FA Council lifts the ban which forbade women playing on the grounds of affiliated clubs.
1995: Newton Ladies became Liverpool FC Ladies and reached the Women’s FA Cup Final
2002: The FA announces that football has become the top participation sport for girls and women in the England – three years ahead of schedule.
2011: Liverpool Ladies FC are a founding member of the FA Women’s Super League which began in April 2011
2015: England won bronze at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada and inspired an army of Young Lionesses to take up the game.
2017: FA pledges to double number of women involved in football by end of the decade
2017: Avon, The Company for Women, announce their landmark sponsorship of Liverpool Ladies Football Club
A Fresh Perspective
Recognising these challenges and in a bid to increase awareness and participation for the sport - championing and empowering women is at the heart of Avon’s commitment to women’s football.
Globally, women’s football is gaining momentum, with 30 million girls and women playing football regularly worldwide; by 2018 women’s football is set to become the second largest participant sport in the UK after the men’s game*. Ambitiously FIFA has set a target to double women’s participation by 2026 to 60 million and the global success of the sport can be seen in the expansion of FIFA Women’s World Cup from 12 teams participating in 1991 to 24 in 2015 and hopefully more at the next World Cup in 2019.