The Barcelona women’s team, on its first exhibition tour of the U.S., has picked up a nice welcome gift Friday with toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker signing on as the team’s first jersey sponsor.
The deal was to be announced Friday morning at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the team’s second stop on its abbreviated U.S. tour.
The Barcelona women, led by reigning world player of the year Lieke Martens, English star Toni Duggan and former Mexican international Pamela Tajonar, will play its only match in the U.S. against SoCal FC of the second-tier Women’s Premier Soccer League on Saturday at 10 a.m. at UCLA’s Drake Stadium. Admission is free.
“Stanley is a brand that shares our commitment to supporting women and women’s professional sports worldwide,” Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu said in a statement.
Stanley was already a global partner of Barcelona’s men’s team and Bartomeu said the expansion of its support to the women’s program “sets a new standard for the value of … women’s sports, which will raise the bar for other professional women’s teams globally.”
Barcelona’s women began their six-day U.S. trip this week in Portland, Ore., where they trained alongside the men’s team at the Nike campus. The men open their preseason schedule Saturday night at the Rose Bowl against EPL rival Tottenham.
It’s the first mix-gender trip for the iconic Spanish club but it got off to a rough start when the men flew business class and the women coach on an Iberia Airlines charter flight.
After photos of the players sitting in different sections of the plane were posted on social media, Barcelona promised the women would be flying business class from Portland to L.A. then on commercial/economy for their flight home.