Canadian Women's National Team locker room
Source: Audrey Magny/Canada Soccer
  • Telus (TSX:T, NYSE:TU) has signed on to become the official telecommunications, digital health and home security partner for Canada Soccer and its national teams
  • Telus is supporting gender equity initiatives, such the She CAN Coach Program to recruit, develop and train female coaches
  • Telus will become the title sponsor of the Canadian Championship, the country’s top club competition beginning next year
  • Telus closed at C$24.29 Wednesday

A day before the Canadian Women’s National Team begins play at the FIFA World Cup 2023 in Australia, Canada Soccer signed a new partnership that makes Telus (TSX:T, NYSE:TU) the official telecommunications, digital health and home security partner for the governing body and its national teams.

As part of the multi-year partnership announced Wednesday, the telecom company is promoting gender equity initiatives, such as becoming the title partner of the Telus She CAN Coach Program. The national female coach recruitment, development and training program aims to ensure more women and girls enjoy the benefits of soccer by addressing the challenges they face relating to participation.

Beginning in 2024, Telus will also become the title sponsor of the Canadian Championship, the country’s top club competition that annually awards the Voyageurs Cup to the winner.

“We are proud to welcome Telus to the Canada Soccer family and excited to work together to elevate our premier club competition nationally,” Jason deVos, Canada Soccer interim general secretary, said in a statement. “This partnership really emphasizes the importance of corporate partners like Telus as we collectively work to drive the growth of the sport in our country and continue to invest in advancing gender equity. We look forward to collaborating together with Telus to drive positive outcomes in our communities.”

Telus will donate $1,000 for every goal Canada scores during the Women’s World Cup, up to $20,000, to EqualPlayFC, an organization that is dedicated to making changes for the betterment of girls and women.

The communications technology company will also provide its technology and connectivity so Canada’s Women’s National Team players can stay connected to loved ones back home during the World Cup that runs from July 20 to Aug. 20 in Australia and New Zealand. Canada faces Nigeria in its first match Friday (Thursday night in Canada, airing on TSN) in Group B play in Melbourne.

“As a proudly Canadian, global technology company, we’re focused on connecting Canadians to the people and activities they’re passionate about, bringing communities together and keeping them connected to what matters most,” Jill Schnarr, chief social innovation, communications and brand officer for Telus, said in a statement. “Soccer is the largest and fastest growing sport in Canada. While its popularity grows so too does the need to address inequities and barriers to access. In addition to supporting both our Women’s and Men’s National Teams, we are thrilled to help support and expand the Telus She CAN Coach Program, helping drive positive social change in our communities and enabling equitable access, opportunity and recognition for female athletes.”

Studies show that in Canada, less than 1 per cent of women are actively working as professional coaches and decision-making members on national and provincial boards. The Telus She CAN Coach Program will support and advance gender equity in sport by breaking down barriers of entry and balancing the gender gap in participation. Applications for the Telus She Can Coach program are open until July 31, with coach recruits to be announced in August.

“It’s great to see organizations coming together to support women and girls in soccer and helping improve gender equity in the sport,” Kadeisha Buchanan, a defender on the Canadian Women’s National Team and a three-time Canadian Women’s Player of the Year, said in a statement “It’s important to have organizations like Telus step up their support in Canada, investing in all aspects of the game, from grassroots to professional and ultimately, empowering women and girls through the Telus She CAN Coach program. I’m excited to see Telus make a real impact for women and girls on and off the pitch.”

Coincidentally, this new partnership was announced the same day as an Ipsos study that found more Canadians are taking pride in the women’s team reaching the 2023 World Cup than they did when the men were about to play in last year’s World Cup (75 per cent vs. 69 per cent).

Canada Soccer and Telus are also trying to help lower-income families have access to the sport by asking Canadians to bring gently used soccer equipment to select 2023 Canada Soccer and Canadian Premier League events. The equipment will then be collected and re-distributed to underprivileged communities nationwide.

Canadian Soccer Business represents all corporate partnerships and media rights (broadcast and distribution) related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including the Canadian Men’s National Team, the Canadian Women’s National Team and the Canadian Championship, along with all rights associated with the Canadian Premier League and League1 Canada.

Telus is a world-leading communications technology company with more than $18 billion in annual revenue and 18 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. Telus Health is a global health care leader, which provides employee and family preventive health care and wellness solutions.

Shares of Telus (TSX:T, NYSE:TU) closed at C$24.29 Wednesday.

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