How often do you come across women playing football or know people who can name women in this field of sport? Not really right? In order to raise awareness and demonstrate that football is a game for women as well, Europe's governing body UEFA has joined forces with pop star Rita Ora.
The partnership is aimed at transforming the image of women's football and encouraging participation among girls and young women. The artist announced UEFA as the official sponsor of the upcoming tour and she's rendering her full support for UEFA's Together #WePlayStrong campaign.
Ora's tour, titled 'The Girls Tour,' is her first European tour in five years and will see the artist perform in 13 cities. On announcing this partnership with UEFA, the 27-year-old said: "The values of Together #WePlayStrong centre not only around football but female empowerment and equality too, so I was 100 percent behind this campaign when I was approached to partner with UEFA."
In an official statement on UEFA.com, Ora says the Together #WePlayStrong campaign is "an inspiring initiative." She strongly adds: "My message to any young girl that's thinking of picking up a ball is to just go for it! Being part of a team inspires confidence, builds friendships and can be liberating."
Through the Together #WePlayStrongcampaign UEFA aims to make football more culturally relevant and aspirational for girls in their teenage years, where they traditionally drop out in large numbers.
Peter Willems, head of marketing and sponsorship activities at UEFA, said: "We're excited to have Rita Ora on board with Together #WePlayStrong. We believe we've formed the perfect partnership that will help to grow the game across Europe for young girls."
He further adds: "Our partnership will continue to evolve with dynamic surprises that will help connect UEFA to the world of young women through music, entertainment, fashion and sport."
This collaboration provides UEFA with an additional platform to promote its first ever pan-European campaign, Together #WePlayStrong, which is a part of its five-year strategic plan to make football the number one sport for girls and women in countries across Europe.
UEFA's ambition for how the game can attract more girls to play involves raising the profile and image of the game, increasing visibility and engagement, driving participation at grassroots level and increasing investment.