NWSL and Google team up for Challenge Cup restart

Tech giant delivering exclusive content during women’s soccer’s US return.

by Steven Impey

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has signed a partnership with technology giant Google to support the US competition's digital content and return-to-play strategies.

The deal took effect from the start of 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup competition on 27th June as the NWSL became the first team-based competition to restart in the US following widespread coronavirus-enforced suspensions.

Google will support the NWSL in numerous ways, including the distribution of exclusive video content via its social channels.

The deal will also utilise the Google Meet social video calling platform to host ‘virtual cheering sections’ in each club’s home market to help engage fans shut out of stadia with games behind closed doors.

Google has also secured presenting rights for the tournament’s Best XI Award.

NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird said: “Google is an industry leader, synonymous with technology and innovation and they’re going to bring both to our partnership as we look for new ways to connect with fans during the upcoming NWSL Challenge Cup.”

Kate Johnson, Google's director of global marketing partnerships, added: “Covid-19 has impacted women’s sports and women’s owned businesses especially hard. You can’t become what you cannot see so we’re proud to help NWSL provide support and visibility in impactful ways.”

Google is the latest to join NWSL sponsorship portfolio, which also includes beer brand Budweiser, sportswear manufacturer Nike, and telecommunications company Verizon.

All NWSL Challenge Cup matches will be streamed on CBS Sports All Access domestically and live matches on CBS can also be streamed on Google-owned YouTube TV.