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Women's Football News
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, and sports presenter Alison Walker, joined players from all 12 Scottish Women's Premier League clubs at Hampden today to launch www.womenspremierleague.co.uk.
This is the first dedicated website for Scotland's top women's league, which will be complemented by a new branding toolkit to allow clubs to create consistent match programmes, posters and other assets to promote their matches.
Today's event at the national stadium kicked off the second half of the SWPL season, with fixtures set to resume this weekend (the SWPL season runs from March to November, with a summer break in June and July).
Scotland has been selected by UEFA, alongside just five other countries, to take part in a branding and marketing project to raise the profile of elite women's leagues across Europe. The development of the game in this country in recent years, Glasgow City's success in the UEFA Women's Champions League, and the growing stature of the women's national team - now ranked 11th in Europe - led to Scotland's involvement in the project.
Nicola Campbell, former Marketing & Development Manager at Powerleague, the largest 5-a-side football company in the UK, has been appointed as Brand Manager for Women's Football at the Scottish FA, to support the branding and marketing of the SWPL.
The post has been supported by the Scottish Government, who back plans to promote positive role models and ambassadors in sport for young girls, and increase the potential for commercial investment in women's football in Scotland.
Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: "It is my pleasure to help launch this new Scottish Women's Premier League brand which, for the first time, will help bring together all the top clubs and players to promote positive role models and ambassadors for young girls, by raising the profile of women in football, and sport in general.
"We have an excellent working relationship with the Scottish FA and Scottish Women's Football, and have played a key role in helping support the growth of girls and women's football in Scotland. This support has helped the Scotland women's national team reach its highest ever ranking, and saw Glasgow City advance to the last 16 of the UEFA Women's Champions League.
"The Scottish Government will continue to work in partnership to help grow and raise the profile of the women's game further still and this new SWPL brand will help us do just that."
The new branding launch as part of the UEFA project follows eight years of work by Scotland's elite women's clubs, Scotland women's national coach, Anna Signeul, and her colleagues at the Scottish FA and Scottish Women's Football.
Anna said: "We are delighted to unveil the new branding for the Scottish Women's Premier League, which will help to take the hard work of the volunteers and professional staff in the women's game to the next level.
"Over the last few years we have focused on creating a positive environment to develop players and clubs, for example through the establishment of the Women's National Performance Centre at Stirling University and subsequent regional centres.
"We have also worked hard to seek investment into the girls' and women's game to support a proactive and strategic approach to promotion, marketing and branding. The appointment of Nicola Campbell as the Brand Manager for Women's Football has already had a major impact, as she works with clubs, who are already focused on promoting their product, to make the elite side of our game more visible."
Maureen McGonigle, Scottish Women's Football Executive Administrator said: "This UEFA project, and continued support from the Scottish Government and the Scottish FA, will ensure that the Scottish Women's Premier League continues to build on the high level of professionalism shown by clubs.
"I believe that this will further assist in raising awareness of the league, and the profile of the top athletes and clubs within Scottish Women's Football."
Nicola Campbell will work with elite women's clubs to establish marketing plans to support long-term objectives to grow the clubs.
Work to grow clubs is already under way, illustrated by the appointment of six girls' and women's club development officers in November 2011. These objectives are driven through the Scottish FA Women's Elite Club License, which was established in 2012 with the support of a UEFA Hat Trick contribution of 400,000 Euros over four years.
This aims to raise the standards of all aspects of elite women's clubs, including creating pathways in to the game and up to elite level, facilities, the development of volunteers working with clubs, promotion and marketing of clubs, engagement with local communities, and development and succession planning.
A dedicated website, logo and club toolkit has been created to support this work by establishing a strong brand to attract commercial investors in the near future.
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