Press Review - June 2023

New FIFPRO report highlights concerns in women’s national teams football

Financial insecurity and inadequate health cover are the two main areas of concern in women's football, according to a survey conducted by FIFPro, the trade union representing the interests of more than 65,000 professional footballers worldwide, and based on the responses of 362 women players from 69 member unions that were part of the qualifying phase for the Women’s World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand between July the 20th and August the 20th.

  One of the main points highlighted by the report is the lack of financial sustainability in women’s national teams football: 29% of players did not receive any payment from their national team during the World Cup qualifying process, 52% said they were given a daily allowance, and 25% reported receiving match incentives for wins.

  During qualification the conditions that the players are exposed to and expected to deliver in, during some of the biggest competitive moments of their lives, are not up to the standards of elite international football, putting both the players and the sport at risk. In highlighting these conditions and the status of players across the globe, FIFPro firmly calls on the industry to take a closer look at the qualification processes in each of the six confederations. This is so we all can commit to meaningful changes that look at the overall opportunities the FIFA Women’s World Cup can deliver to a greater number of players than those that just appear at the final tournament in July and August this year”, the foreword to the qualifying conditions report, co-signed by Fifpro president David Aganzo and general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann.

  The report also points to issues in terms of medical coverage and training facilities: 70% of players were not provided with a pre-tournament ECG heart check-up, 54% were not provided with a pre-tournament medical, 66% said recovery facilities were not of an elite standard or did not exist, and 70% said that gym facilities were not of an elite standard.

  Any stat below 100% in access to important medical checks is unacceptable. We just want to work with whoever wants to work with us, particularly FIFA and the confederations, to understand why that is the case and how that can be prevented because that is certainly not something that should be acceptable to anybody”, Sarah Gregorius, the director of global policy and strategic relations for women’s football at FIFPro, said.

Hyundai Motor Group and FIFA to extend their partnership at the occasion of the FIFA WWC 2023

Hyundai Motor Group affiliates Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation announced, on July the 3rd, that they have signed a sponsorship deal with FIFA to become official mobility partners of the Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.

  In a press release, the South Korean group adds that its two brands combined, Hyundai Motor and Kia, will deliver a total of 594 vehicles to « facilitate seamless and efficient transportation operations during the competitions in Australia and New Zealand. Leveraging their extensive global distribution networks, they will offer a diverse range of eco-friendly vehicles to move teams, officials, VIPs and guests between venues. »

  Furthermore, will be displayed at the competition’s stadiums some of the newly-released vehicles as the 2023 World Car of the Year, IONIQ 6 all-electric Hyundai Motor’s model, and the 2023 World Performance Car of the Year, EV6 GT, released by Kia.

  Women’s football has made great strides over the years, building its own independent following and prospering more than ever. Hyundai Motor Group is proud to be on this journey with the great sport of football for the past 24 years and looks forward to supporting women’s football for years to come”, said Karl Kim, president of Hyundai Motor Group.

Amazon Music, new sponsor of BWT Alpine F1 Team

Amazon Music becomes the first music streaming service to collaborate with an F1 Team, after concluding a sponsorship contract with BWT Alpine F1.

  This collaboration has been launched on the occasion of the 2023 Formula 1 British Grand Prix held at Silverstone between July the 7th and July the 9th. In a press release, Alpine indicates that the Amazon Music brand will be visible on the team’s A523 Formula 1 cars, and on the helmets of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, the two race drivers of the French team.

  “We are delighted to be collaborating with Amazon Music and we look forward to working with such a powerful and inspiring global brand. This collaboration will provide not only enhanced visibility for both BWT Alpine F1 Team and Amazon Music, but it will also provide a host of unique activations and opportunities matched by common interest for both parties. We are very excited to begin this collaboration and we welcome Amazon Music to the team from this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the home race of the Enstone team”, David Gendry, vice president of Alpine sponsoring, partnerships, and communications, states.

  We are thrilled to further strengthen our relationship with the Renault Group through this exciting collaboration with Alpine. Sport and music together play a key role in cultural influence. So, we are delighted to widen our footprint in sport and bring artists and fans closer to the drivers, sport and music they love with this global collaboration with Alpine around F1”, Karolina Joynathsing, director of business development at Amazon Music, said.

UEFA Champions League and PepsiCo joining forces until 2027

UEFA Champions League and PepsiCo have renewed their partnership which has been running since 2015, until 2026-27 season.

  For the new 3 years cycle PepsiCo is adding a $1 million investment in projects supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children. Environmental sustainability initiatives, including efforts to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging as part of the ‘Road to Zero’ initiative, are also key part in this new deal. Furthermore, digital and data fan engagement will be a main part of this sponsorship’s activations. UEFA underpinned that, with PepsiCo, they will “utilize each other’s database of fans to deliver bespoke experiences based on their unique preferences and behaviors across multiple digital touchpoints in order to take digital and data engagement to the next level and continue to capture new growth channels.”

  Together, we will continue improving the fan experience in innovative ways and positively impact communities through the power of football around the world. PepsiCo said it is looking to help expand the reach of the UEFA Champions League globally and will double up activations in the US and the Middle East. Pepsi has the naming rights sponsor to the UCL kick off show – The Kick Off Show by Pepsi – that brings live acts to the final and which began in 2016. UEFA said the show in future “will be scaled up”, Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director, said.

  For the past eight years, our global markets have delivered best-in-class activations, harnessing the combined power of the UEFA Champions League and PepsiCo iconic food and beverage brands. With the extension of our sponsorship, we will continue leveraging our portfolio to drive positive change to people and planet on and off the pitch”, Adam Warner, head of global sports and partnerships at PepsiCo, added.

Leicester City FC fined up to £880.000 after admitting anti-competitive arrangement with JD Sports

The Competition and Markets Authority said, on July the 5th, that it found that the football club and the retailer colluded to restrict competition in the sales of Leicester City-branded clothing, including replica kit, in the UK. The CMA added that both parties admitted that they broke competition law.

  Reporting this news, The Guardian explains that “the companies had a deal in which JD agreed not to sell Leicester kit for the 2018-19 season and then said it would apply a delivery charge to all orders of Leicester City-branded clothing for the following two seasons in order not to undercut the club’s own online store.” The CMA said that the club would be fined up to £880.000 ($1.12 million). On its part, as it reported the illegal conduct and admitted its participation, JD was not fined by the CMA.

  "We have provisionally found that Leicester City FC and JD Sports colluded to share out markets and fix prices - with the result that fans may have ended up paying more than they would otherwise have done", the Competition and Markets Authority added.