Global food company Mars Wrigley Confectionery has signed a four-year extension to its partnership with the English Football Association.
Mars will continue to serve as an official supporter of the men’s senior and U21 national teams and an official partner of the FA Mars Just Play programme until July 2022. The new partnership will also include sponsorship of the England women’s and disability teams for the first time.
The renewed agreement will place an increased focus on supporting greater equality, diversity and inclusion at every level of the English game. The fresh deal will extend to all confectionery brands under the Mars Wrigley umbrella, including chocolate, sweets, ice cream and chewing gum. Mars will develop integrated sponsorship campaigns across its product range and increase the scale and reach of the partnership nationwide.
As part of the new deal, the FA Mars Just Play programme will extend its remit to reach a broader range of participants, including BAME, women and disabled people.
Mars will also provide 200 Level 1 FA coaching bursaries, with a particular focus to be placed on increasing equal representation and participation among women and in the BAME community.
Baroness Sue Campbell, head of women’s football for the FA, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the women’s game as we seek to double participation by reaching out to all girls and women and at the same time build a system capable of delivering consistent success on the world stage. To have the backing of Mars Wrigley Confectionary for the women’s national team over the next four years will help us to drive and achieve our ambition.”
Mars’ vice-president of marketing, Michele Oliver, added: “The worlds of both sport and business will be more successful by being more diverse and inclusive, and at Mars we hope our extended partnership with the FA can be a part of leading this change.”
Mars has been a partner of the FA since 2009.