SSE adds women's league to FAI sponsorship portfolio
SSE Airtricity, the Irish energy firm, has extended its long-running title sponsorship of the League of Ireland, the top men's soccer league in Republic of Ireland, and will put its name to the country's Women's National League for the first time.
The agreement with the Football Association of Ireland, announced today, runs to the end of the 2022 season.
SSE Airtricity succeeds hotel chain So Hotels as the title sponsor of the WNL, and it marks the first time that the men's and women's leagues will share a sponsor.
Jonathan Hill, the new FAI chief executive, said: “We are delighted that not only will SSE Airtricity continue as title sponsor for the League of Ireland for a 12th season but they have also extended their sponsorship deal to include the Women’s National League. The double sponsorship announcement today is testament to the future direction of our domestic game and a significant boost for our League football infrastructure.”
Klair Neenan, SSE Airtricity managing director, added: “SSE Airtricity’s commitment to the Women's National League is demonstrative of the growing interest in the women’s game in Ireland. Our commitment comes at a crucial time in its development. Football clubs sit at the heart of their communities and by working closely with the FAI we believe this partnership can be a key to increasing participation, development and the wider visibility of the women’s game in Ireland.”
The new SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division season is scheduled to kick-off on 19 March, with the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League due to commence a week later.
Hill officially took the FAI reins last November as the permanent successor to John Delaney, who left in 2019.
Formerly of sports agencies ESP, Kentaro and IMG and of England’s Football Association, he had been chief executive of Laureus World Sports Awards Limited, the company responsible for the annual awards, since October 2017.
It was his work at the FA, where he oversaw a substantial rise in sponsorship revenues, that is understood to have impressed the FAI.
Image credit: FAI