L.A. Soccer Team, Backed by Natalie Portman and Serena Williams, Names Birdies as Sleeve Sponsor

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Ryma Chikhoune
·2 min read
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Angel City Football Club, Los Angeles’ newest professional women’s soccer team, has revealed footwear brand Birdies as its sleeve sponsor.

“This partnership with Angel City is so much more than just our logo on the kit,” said Bianca Gates, Birdies’ chief executive officer, in a statement. She cofounded the San Francisco-based brand in 2015 with Marisa Sharkey. “It’s about two mission-driven, female-led companies coming together to work toward the same mission of empowering and uplifting women through everything that we do.”

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It’s a four-year deal that’s reportedly valued to be in the seven figures.

“It’s not every day you see a female-led fashion brand sponsoring a women’s sports team, but we saw this opportunity as the perfect convergence of two like-minded brands who share the same values,” added Sharkey, the brand’s president. “At Birdies, we’re always trying to be innovative with our products and with our business, and this is another way for us to push that message forward.”

As reported by WWD in July, Hollywood names like Natalie Portman, Uzo Aduba, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Eva Longoria, as well as Serena Williams, her husband Alexis Ohanian of Reddit and their young daughter are among the team’s founders. The group — which includes entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, venture capitalist Kara Nortman and 14 former U.S. women’s national soccer team players — were given exclusive rights to bring the soccer team to L.A. in spring 2022 as part of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Joining the club’s inaugural sponsor (fellow San Francisco-based food delivery service DoorDash), Birdies’ logo will be seen on the right shoulder of the official kit, on home and away jerseys — which, along with the team’s colors and crest, will be revealed this summer. Angel City Football Club and Birdies also have a shoe collaboration in the works, dropping in spring 2022.

“First and foremost, I am excited to partner with two incredible female founders and entrepreneurs, Bianca Gates and Marisa Sharkey,” said Uhrman, the club’s president. “Birdies and Angel City are similar in that we both lead with purpose, wanting to make a positive impact on our community, while being focused on delivering positive returns for our investors. Supporting women and investing in female mentorship is important to Birdies and to us. We look forward to joining Birdies in the great work they’re doing to empower girls by leveraging our club, fans, and community.”

The Angel City Football Club works with its partners to offer 10 percent of their sponsorship value to local causes.

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