The Football Association (FA) has announced that Adobe is the lead sponsor of the Women’s FA Cup. The partnership deal will run for at least three years, through to July 2026.
This is a positive thing and I don’t want to be a Moaning Myrtle but this should really have been in place ready for the start of the season. Hopefully in future, this sort of agreement will be tied up for a seamless transition.
The FA communication stated, “The Adobe Women’s FA Cup will focus on increasing fan engagement and raising the competition’s profile from the qualifying rounds in September, through to the final in May held at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Using Adobe Express, an AI-first, all-in-one content creation app, making it fast, fun and easy to design and share standout content, clubs across the women’s game will be able to market and promote themselves, create social media and brand content to engage their community, raise their profile and reach the next generation of fans and players.”
“The partnership with Adobe will boost engagement across the Women’s FA Cup by introducing new social media channels and giving all 460 clubs participating in the competition access to, and training on Adobe Express. This will enable clubs to identify a breadth of new content opportunities and build a closer connection with their fans. The Adobe Women’s FA Cup is the only competition where the biggest clubs in women’s football are paired with amateur teams from across the leagues.”
This follows the recent announcement that the FA will increase the competition’s prize money from the third round onwards next season – when the FA Women’s Championship sides enter the competition.
This decision was welcomed by many fans, however, also received criticism that the increase should not forget those clubs at the amateur level.
Maggie Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Lewes FC told their website, “We must not forget the scarcity of resources for clubs outside of the top two tiers who need to have a chance of winning these funds even more. The success of the WSL, Championship and the England team is dependent on the strength of the whole women’s football ecosystem. They cannot survive without a healthy pyramid and I worry we have lost a chance to strengthen the base to set us up for long-term success.”
Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s Director of Women’s Football said, “The Women’s FA Cup has grown to new heights over the last few years in parallel with the wider growth of the women’s game, and we’re delighted to have Adobe on board as we target the next phase of development for the competition.
“We share their passion for holistically celebrating the unique characteristics that makes the Women’s FA Cup the most special and prestigious domestic cup competition in the world. With Adobe’s creative tools, used by some of the world’s biggest brands, we have a key opportunity to reach and engage new audiences for the women’s game.”
The FA statement went on to say, “The Adobe partnership will continue to support the promotion of the final as the landmark event in the women’s football calendar, whilst also enabling more emphasis and resource to be placed on growing the profile of the earlier rounds of the competition.”
The 2023/24 season of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup is at the Second Round Proper stage, with ties being played this weekend.
Bromley and AFC Stoneham are the two lowest-ranked teams confirmed in this stage of the competition, both competing in the sixth tier of the women’s football pyramid. Bromley take on fifth-tier Millwall, while Stoneham have a daunting trip to third-tier Plymouth if they (as expected) overcome Illminster in a yet to be played First Round match.
Fellow sixth-tier side Brentford are still in the competition but are waiting to play their First Round matches against Southampton Women, the replay is due to take place in a reserved fixture this weekend after two previous attempts in Southampton have been postponed to due a waterlogged pitch.