Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG), the US-based human resources management company, has landed title sponsorship rights to the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) season-opening Challenge Cup tournament after striking a major multimillion-dollar agreement with the league.

The Challenge Cup was launched in 2020 as a means for players to compete amid the pandemic in 2020 when NWSL matches were canceled.

As part of the multi-year deal, the tournament will be renamed the UKG NWSL Challenge Cup from next year after its title sponsorship rights kick in.

The tournament’s prize fund will also increase tenfold this year, before nearly doubling again in 2023 to become “the first-ever women’s professional soccer tournament to achieve pay equity with its US peers in the men’s game”.

Agency Elevate Sports Ventures brokered the deal and will assist in managing strategy and activation for the partnership.

Full details of the prize pool were not disclosed, but the fund will be distributed to the winners, runners-up, and semi-finalists.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The Major League Soccer’s (MLS) similar ‘MLS Is Back’ tournament held in Orlando, Florida, during the pandemic had a prize pool of $1.1 million.

Winners received $300,000, while the runners-up were given $150,000. The semi-finalists secured $100,000 each.

The news comes ahead of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup final tomorrow (May 7) between North Carolina Courage and Washington Spirit at WakeMed Soccer Park in North Carolina.

The game will be broadcast domestically by national network CBS.

Jessica Berman, NWSL commissioner, said: “Our partnership is purpose-driven, and we believe that will eventually lead to broader impactful change, not only for women in professional sports but for women and underrepresented groups worldwide who have advocated tirelessly for the equity they deserve.”

The sponsorship comes as part of the UKG’s “Close the Gap Initiative”, a pay equity project launched late last year to tackle pay disparity between men, women, and underrepresented groups.

Brian K. Reaves, chief belonging, diversity, and equity officer at UKG, said: “We are so proud to stand beside the NWSL and work toward bringing pay equity to a sport that, for too long, unfortunately, reflected the working reality of many women.

“This partnership is just one of the many actions UKG is taking to raise awareness and encourage action on pay equity across all workplaces and industries.”

UKG is the jersey patch sponsor of the National Basketball Association’s Miami Heat.