U.S. Soccer signs eight-figure sponsorship deal with VW

U.S. Soccer reached an agreement for Volkswagen of America to be the sponsor of training tops on all its national team players and its presenting automotive partner through 2022.

The agreement is valued at eight figures and the federation's second largest deal after its agreement with Nike, its uniform manufacturer since 1995.

The immediate focus of the Volkswagen deal is to take advantage of the buildup to the Women's World Cup. The first of the USA's 10 warm-up games will be Saturday against France in Le Havre. After a game in Spain on Jan. 22, the remaining eight friendlies will be played in the United States.

VW will become the presenting partner of Tournament of Nations, the summer international women's tournament that the USA will next host in 2021. (It is played every year there is not a Women's World Cup or Olympic Games.)

An emphasis of the sponsorship will be to help fund programs and provide assistance for U.S. Soccer to develop more female coaches.

"We need more women in coaching," said U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis in a video presentation at a press conference to announce the agreement during the Detroit Auto Show. "Female athletes can relate to female coaches and provide them the aspiration to get into coaching themselves. I'm looking forward to seeing results of this partnership and seeing the impact it will have on providing more opportunities to develop female coaches in the near future."

Volkswagen previously was the jersey sponsor of MLS's D.C. United and had a sponsorship deal with MLS. Chevrolet's three-year deal with U.S. Soccer as automotive sponsor ended in 2016 when it pulled out of soccer.

At Monday's Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen also announced Chattanooga will be the home to the company's first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in North America, an $800 million investment that will create 1,000 jobs in the Chattanooga area.
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