DETROIT – U.S. Soccer and Volkswagen of America, Inc. Monday announced a landmark, integrated partnership Monday making Volkswagen the presenting automotive partner to the federation through 2022.
It reportedly is an eight-figure deal.
The agreement was facilitated by Soccer United Marketing, U.S. Soccer’s partner for the past 15 years, and was unveiled at a press conference during the Detroit Auto Show that featured Volkswagen Group of America CEO Scott Keogh and U.S. Soccer CEO and secretary general Dan Flynn.
As part of Volkswagen’s commitment, the automobile maker will help U.S. Soccer with its mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States by increasing participation, developing world class players, coaches and referees, and increasing fan engagement around the sport.
“We are extremely excited to work together with Volkswagen to help us continue to grow soccer in the United States,” Flynn said. “Volkswagen will be one of the most active and visible partners U.S. Soccer has ever had, providing us with additional resources for more programs that can impact and help develop the sport, while also allowing us to reach more fans of the game across the country. We look forward to the next four years together as we drive towards our mission of becoming the preeminent sport in the United States.”
As part of partnership, Volkswagen will have branding on training tops for all U.S. Soccer national teams, including the men’s and women’s national sides, all youth national teams and the Para 7-a-side, Beach and Futsal national teams, and the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“We are absolutely thrilled about this partnership with U.S. Soccer,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “Our program is about helping to grow this great sport in the U.S. The first step is making it easier for women to stay with the sport and pass on their wisdom and passion and love to the next generation of players. Soccer is the People’s Sport and Volkswagen is the People’s Car.”
During the press conference, U.S. women’s national coach Jill Ellis shared via video from the team’s camp in Portugal that Volkswagen’s support will fund programs and provide assistance to develop more female coaches in the United States. While 47 percent of youth soccer players are women, only 15 percent of coaches are female.
“We need more women in coaching,” said Ellis, who directed the USWNT to an unbeaten record in 2018 to finish as the No. 1-ranked team for the fourth consecutive year. “Female athletes can relate to female coaches and provide them the aspiration to get into coaching themselves. I’m looking forward to seeing results of this partnership and seeing the impact it will have on providing more opportunities to develop female coaches in the near future.”
With the deal announced prior to the Women’s World Cup in France, Volkswagen will be activating during U.S. Soccer’s Countdown to the Cup from January to May, which includes the U.S. playing 10 games before departing for France in pursuit of another World Cup title. The schedule – which features eight teams that will be participating in France – includes the fourth edition of the SheBelieves Cup, with games in Philadelphia, Nashville and Tampa, and the final three Send-Off Series matches in Santa Clara, Calif., St. Louis, Mo., and Harrison, N.J.