Women’s FA Cup: FA praises SSE 'legacy' as sponsorship deal ends

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Women's FA Cup final highlights: Man City 3-0 West Ham

SSE's deal to sponsor the Women's FA Cup has ended and the Football Association is now seeking a new backer for the 2019-20 competition.

The energy firm's contract, which started shortly before the final was held at Wembley for the first time in 2015, expired after this year's final.

Manchester City were the 2019 winners, beating West Ham 3-0 at Wembley.

A crowd of 43,264 attended May's final, following a competition-record turnout of 45,423 in the previous year.

"It's a great legacy," Marzena Bogdanowicz, the FA's head of marketing and commercial for women's football, told BBC Sport.

"They leave the FA having helped more than 30,000 girls play football for the first time through the SSE Wildcats programme. Their support has been wonderful and the event is now in a really great place for someone to move it to the next level.

"It's the end of a contract and you have to look at what you can do going forward. Our ambition is to the make the final the number one domestic event for fans in this country.

"We'd like to hit the 50,000 attendance mark in the coming years, if not a sell-out. A 50,000 attendance for the final would be amazing, with Wembley at the heart of that.

"With the audience figures at this summer's World Cup, it again just shows the interest is there. We want someone with our shared vision of growth for women's and girls football."

In May, the BBC agreed a new four-year broadcast deal to show the climax to the Women's FA Cup live until 2025.

That new agreement will start at the beginning of the 2021-22 season, including coverage of both semi-finals and the final.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

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