Angel City FC has secured its third founding sponsor in Gatorade, which will serve as the club’s exclusive sports drink partner. The NWSL’s Los Angeles-based expansion team did not disclose terms of the deal.
The sports drink manufacturer joins Heineken and Therabody in the club’s top-tier sponsorship category, the trio comprising the start of what the club hopes will be between six and 10 ‘founding partners to sign on before the team makes its debut in the spring of 2022. As a founding partner, Gatorade branding and products will be present at all Angel City trainings and games, as well as on digital signage and as part of corporate hospitality at the club’s home venue, Banc of California Stadium.
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Gatorade, a division of PepsiCo, will also work with Angel City to produce content featuring what the companies describe as “shared talent,” including Clubhouse discussions and Instagram Live sessions.
As with all of Angel City’s corporate sponsorship deals, 10% of the value of the Gatorade pact will be reallocated into community and social programs, with the drink company focusing on the female coaching pipeline problems in soccer. The two organizations will launch a formal coaching training program, complete with courses and networking assistance to help participants access coaching positions across Los Angeles.
“We’re not only partnering with what is sure to be a world-class soccer club, but one that will be part of its community, serving area youth and ushering in a new era of women’s sports in Los Angeles,” said Jeff Kearney, global head of sports marketing for Gatorade. “The model, built by their founding members, including some of our longstanding athlete partners and other leaders, could pave the way for how professional teams are built in the future.”
The team’s three kit sponsors—health grocer Sprouts Farmers Market (back), women’s footwear brand Birdies (sleeve) and food delivery company DoorDash (front)—have signed onto deals valued at at least seven figures. In the case of DoorDash, their five-year agreement was reportedly valued in the low eight-figure range. The food delivery company’s deal is the NWSL’s largest shirt sponsorship to date. Unlike Gatorade, which already sponsors a number of individual female athletes as well as leagues like the WNBA, the club’s three jersey partners were new women’s professional soccer supporters.
“Gatorade is such an iconic brand with a long history of supporting women’s sports,” Julie Uhrman, Angel City founder and president, said. “All of our sponsors, including Gatorade, have been supportive of the Angel City Sponsorship Model and have shown excitement and creativity in working together to bring our joint purpose to life. We’re thrilled to combine the power of our brands to create a new program that will change the game.”
The club is predominantly female-funded and founded: Its founders include actress Natalie Portman, tech venture capitalist Kara Nortman, Uhrman and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is also married to tennis icon Serena Williams. Ohanian’s fund, Initialized Capital, led the team’s investor group. Williams and her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.; Billie Jean King; actors Uzo Aduba, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria; and 14 former soccer players from the U.S. Women’s National Team, including Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach, are also part of the expansive group. Other athlete supporters include WNBA star Candace Parker and Olympic downhill skier Lindsey Vonn.