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U.S. Soccer Icon Abby Wambach Discusses Welcoming Gatorade As A Founding Partner Of Angel City FC

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at July 23, 2021

A year since the largest female-led ownership group in North American professional sports announced they were forming a National Women’s Soccer League expansion franchise, Angel City FC has continued pushing boundaries on and off the field and aligning themselves with brands dedicated to helping them do the same.

One of the biggest brands in sports is joining that cause as the club announced Gatorade as a team founding partner this week. The sports beverage brand will also serve as the exclusive drink partner of the club and have their product, equipment and signage throughout Banc of California Stadium when the team kicks off its inaugural season next Spring.

U.S. soccer legend and one of Angel City FC’s founding investors, Abby Wambach, also sits on the women’s advisory board at Gatorade, and has a 15-year relationship with the brand as an athlete partner. She spoke on how the partnerships gives the new club some serious footing in sports as well as their initiatives in the community.

“Gatorade has always been and always will be about pushing limits and boundaries,” Wambach said. “We have all of these women founding partners. We have this beautiful mission and all of that is great and beautiful in theory. Now, we have all of the pieces of the puzzle and we just have to put them into place and into action. Angel City’s sponsorship model is going to reallocate 10 percent of all the sponsorship dollars that Gatorade will bring into the club into the community for different initiatives, and that’s the first of its kind.”

 Together, both organizations will launch a formal program that provides training and courses led by female role models in the sports world and help provide access to coaching positions across the Los Angeles area.

“We’re looking forward to fueling Angel City on and off the pitch and working with the club to drive meaningful change in sport,” said Jeff Kearney, global head of sports marketing for Gatorade. “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. 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.”

Wambach’s introduction to Angel City FC came by way of an Instagram DM from actress Natalie Portman, who had attended one of Wambach’s fireside chats where she touched on the discrepancy in pay between the men’s and women’s national soccer team given that the women’s team has been more successful and contributes higher revenues for U.S. Soccer.

They spoke shortly afterward and the conversation centered on helping to disrupt that trend by bringing the game forward both on the field and off. Los Angeles hadn’t had a professional soccer team since the Sol of Women’s Professional Soccer ceased operations in 2010 and had the facilities to house one. Through several Zoom calls and talks, an A-list investor group consisting of some of the most successful women in the world had assembled and Angel City FC was born.

Wambach has been amazed at the energy and buzz the club has been able to generate in a crowded sports market. Still, just like the other founding investors in Angel City FC, the goal is to be so much more than a great franchise. Their mission statement to make a meaningful difference in the world.

“We don’t want to just be a soccer team. We want to be a global brand and have a global presence,” Wambach said. “My hope is that we’re seeing sold-out crowds in 10 years, that we’re seeing players from around the world leaving the teams that they’ve been playing for to come to play in the best league in the world. We are seeing huge TV rights deals, players that are receiving contracts that are not only sustainable but capable of these women not having to work other jobs.

“We’re seeing retirement packages and every kind of benefit that male athletes get in different clubs be given to women in the NWSL clubs. I want the NWSL to be the best league in the world and this brand of Angel City FC is going to be driving that along with brands and founding partners like Gatorade.”


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