Bristol Academy Women's FC sign deal with UWE

Issue date: 03 February 2011

Bristol Academy Women's Football Club has announced that they have agreed a major sponsorship deal with the University of the West of England (UWE). This comes just days after the club announced other agreements worth over £30,000 with commercial partners which will support the Club as it competes in the FA Women's Super League (FAWSL) commencing in April 2011.

Under the deal UWE, the largest University in the South West, will base their Women's first team at the Bristol Academy's purpose-built Stoke Gifford Stadium. Bristol Academy will also take over the management of the team to help develop them into one of the strongest University sides in the Country.

The agreement will provide a number of HE scholarships for elite female footballers at UWE, in return for financial support via sponsorship.

The FAWSL is a new semi-professional summer league for women, and Bristol Academy are one of only eight clubs which will play in this league including the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton.

Alex Isaac, Head of Sport at UWE said, “The opportunity to become a strategic partner to Bristol Academy WFC was too good to miss. The Stoke Gifford Stadium is an outstanding facility and our players will be coached by first-rate coaches. We believe we have everything in place to develop our Elite Programme at UWE over the next few years.”

Mark Sampson, Head Coach of Bristol Academy WFC added, “Many of our students play in the Reserve Team, and when they reach 18 still want to play competitive football whilst studying further. The relationship with UWE will provide girls with an opportunity to stay in Bristol and still stay involved as a semi-professional in our senior side. “

Sara-Jane Watkins, Commercial Director of Bristol Academy remarked, “There is overwhelming support for Bristol Academy within the community. In the past few weeks, more businesses than ever have been enquiring about how they can get involved.

“The TV coverage via ESPN and the alignment of businesses and products with a major FA initiative is a real value to marketing departments – and will be a fraction of the cost of similar deals in the men's game.

“We are in the final stages of discussion with a number of national companies over the main shirt sponsorships and an announcement will be made before our Stadium Opening on March 19. Women in the men's game has been in the news for the wrong reasons just recently, but I can assure you that the general view is that the women's game is exciting, athletic, very competitive and family-orientated. For those reasons, the sport is of interest to businesses wishing to align with a positive, modern and welcoming sport.”

Editor's notes

• For more information on UWE's Elite Programme visit

• Bristol Academy Women's Football Club is a semi-professional English women's football club affiliated with the Bristol Academy of Sport, based at Filton College. They were admitted to the FA WSL in 2010. For more information on Bristol Academy visit

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers


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