Filipinas ink long-term deal with FIFA Women's World Cup sponsor adidas

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Filipinas ink long-term deal with FIFA Women's World Cup sponsor adidas
L-R Filipinas' Hali Long, PFF Secretary General Atty. Ed Gastanes, adidas Philippines General Manager Anthony Frangos, Filipinas' Inna Palacios
Philstar.com / Luisa Morales

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine women's national football team will be clad in adidas in their upcoming tournaments, including the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in July, as the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) signed a deal with the sportswear brand.

Formalized in a ceremony on Thursday at New World Makati, the PFF signed a four-year contract with adidas that will see the German sportswear company outfitting the Filipinas and its age group youth teams.

Also the sponsors of the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, adidas will already be providing the kits and equipment for the team as early as their stint in the Pinatar Cup in Spain next week.

PFF President Nonong Araneta, who was recently reelected to the FIFA Council, lauded the partnership as a landmark moment in Philippine women's football.

"I've been involved in football long enough to know that having adidas as a partner, especially a kit sponsor, is a huge development," Araneta said through Zoom.

"Peronally, I'm very excited for when our team steps on the field in New Zealand for our FIFA Women's World Cup debut, they will do so wearing the three stripes, putting them alongside powerhouses like Germany, Sweden, and Spain, among other adidas sponsored teams. I believe there is a magic wearing the three stripes of adidas. In the recent world cup, Messi and Argentina won the World Cup on adidas kits last year. I believe we will also make history and achieve something... As the adidas mantra says, Impossible is Nothing," he added.

The PFF was represented in the contract-signing ceremony by Secretary General Ed Gastanes. With him was adidas Philippines General Manager Anthony Frangos.

Frangos, for his part, reiterated the brand's commitment in helping the Filipinas even beyond the World Cup.

"adidas is honored to be partnered with the women's program of the Philippines Football Federation. This partnership will see adidas supporting the women's national team, but also, the youth teams and the youth programs that the PFF is looking to develop. So it's a real partnership to develop football and provide a pathway for females to play football," he said.

"So this partnership, as I mentioned, extends beyond the World Cup. We're looking to provide ongoing support and inspire the next generation of Philippine athletes. Our goal together with the PFF is to lead the conversation of women in sport and build awareness on what this group of inspirational women has achieved today and will achieve in the future," he added.

Filipinas forward Sarina Bolden, who joined the ceremony via Zoom, said that having adidas as an outfitter also boosts the respect afforded to the team as they continue their steep climb into becoming the best in the sport.

"The time I've been on the team, we would be wearing nothing, no logos, and sometimes just bringing our own things, or showing up as you are, and to kind of have a brand like adidas that Hali had said, have professionalism with them, a global, iconic brand, I feel like that instantenously when anyone kinda looks like us, we kinda garner some respect in some way," Bolden said.

"But you know, we've been building respect over just a year, one year, but to have that name, that brand of adidas, adding to the Philippines women's team, kinda just shows how far we've gone," she added.

Meanwhile, defender Hali Long reflected on how the team resonated with the brand's tagline of "Impossible is Nothing" as the team continued to exceed expectations.

"I think the Filipinas achieved the impossible by qualifying for the World Cup. So, technically it is possible so whatever else is impossible, just believe that this group of girls and Philippine women's football can achieve it," she said.

World Cup kits revealed in May

As for the technical side of things, Frangos said that the highly anticipated kits for the FIFA Women's World Cup will likely be released by May.

And, if possible, they will be making the kits available to the fans in the Philippines to continue to drum up support for the Filipinas.

"Our first priority is to make sure that the girls are kitted up. They're playing within a week and we've had to work really hard to make sure that they have something that represents the brand, that represents the country for the Pinatar Cup. Following that, we're working hard to be able to showcase and release the strip that they'll be playing in during the World Cup. We're hoping that we will be able to share that in May," he said.

"And at the same time, our ambition, our hope is that we can also make that available to the public here in the Philippines," he added.

Known for their tech when it comes to football kits, Frangos also teased that the kits will be something great for the Filipinas, but kept mum on the details.

"Well, let's just build the anticipation and wait for the May release but we've shared a couple of ideas already, and I know the two girls are exceptionally excited about what they saw a couple of weeks ago when we shared some ideas. So let's just get that anticipation building. There's more to come," he said.

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