You might remember my recent post of the rise of the women’s game across the world. It focused heavily on beauty brand Avon signing a historic deal to sponsor Liverpool women’s football team. It was a first of its kind type of deal, in which Avon became the first female brand to sponsor a women’s professional football team and also becomes Liverpool’s first independent shirt sponsor to that of its male counterpart.
Following this announcement, I recently sat down with Stephen Rendu, Director of Beauty, Advertising, Media and PR, at Avon to discuss this landmark deal in further detail.
How The Deal Came About
Firstly, I asked Rendu how long the deal had been in works and he revealed that the Rio Olympics had been the real catalyst for Avon’s deal with Liverpool. He said:
“Over the past few years, we have seen a tide of momentum towards female empowerment and a positive stance across a more informed society. Female role models across business, sport, music, politics, and the like are inspiring a new generation of confident females brought to life through brand campaigns. Younger female generations are no longer willing to accept mistreatment, inequality and disrespect.”
“Following the Rio Olympics last year, we were inspired by the many stories that emerged around the new wave of role models that generations of women were now looking up to. We really hope that we can help to elevate the profile of these amazing women and their shared values through women’s football, a sport which is surging in popularity and one in which we are investing in worldwide.”
“As a brand we want to work to inspire women all over the country and world, not just to play football but to overcome adversity and gender stereotypes to enthuse a new generation to follow their dreams, whatever they may be.”
When queried on why Avon chose Liverpool as its first partner within women’s football, Rendu said that the brand and the club “shares the same core values”.
He continued: “The team has achieved phenomenal success in the Women’s Super League and continues to inspire girls and women to take up the sport and pursue their dreams. For over 130 years championing and empowering women has been at the heart of our ethos, and we believe these core values are at the centre of this partnership.”
The Impact On Other Brands
Asked whether Avon wanted the historic deal to impact other brands, Rendu said:
“We hope that this partnership will pave the way for other brands to follow suit, allowing the ladies to receive the recognition they deserve, whilst empowering young girls and women to chase their own dreams – should that be in sport or not.”
“We truly believe that women’s teams around the world need to be recognised individually to that of their male counterparts, and that is why we are proud to lead the way into a new dawn of women’s football as the team’s first independent shirt sponsor.”
This Deal And Beyond
With the deal between Avon and Liverpool set to run until 2020, Rendu said the brand was “very excited about what the next three years have to offer.”
He also referenced the FIFA targets for doubling women’s participation by 2026 to 60 million players, as a key barometer of success for the brand. “We look forward to being a part of that journey to give the team the recognition they deserve, whilst harnessing this sponsorship to champion women around the world – empowering them to follow their dreams.”
When asked what the future held for the Avon brand in terms of other, prominent sport sponsorships, Rendu was tight lipped.
He said: “We are committing to supporting women’s teams globally. Around the world, we are partnering with other women’s football teams to invest in the sport and work together to promote the sport and everything that it stands for. We cannot say what the future holds, but at Avon we are committed to supporting and empowering all women, so we are very excited to see what is to come next.”
“This is just the beginning and we have some exciting plans that go above and beyond just the game. We have some exciting joint plans that we’ve been developing to create a lasting campaign that will challenge stereotypes and ultimately help change the perception of the game and the athletes that play it.”