November 17 – UEFA has extended its partnership with Disney until 2027, allowing the continuation of the UEFA Playmakers project which aims to use Disney storytelling to provide unique opportunities to girls as a safe, fun and engaging entry pathway into football.
This pan-European participation initiative has already introduced tens of thousands of 5–8-year-old girls across Europe to football. Since its conception in 2020, UEFA Playmakers has used Disney storytelling to introduce over 73,000 young girls to football in the region.
The extension of the project is the latest in a long line of progressive moves made by UEFA that focus on Women’s football, spurred on by a the success of Euro 2022 and the 2023 World Cup success.
The project has a heavy emphasis on ‘play-based learning’, which is said to help ease the girls into the sport and generate instant enthusiasm with a young player base by using familiar stories such as Disney’s Frozen 2 or Moana.
Disney’s award-winning musical comedy Encanto is the latest film added to the programme, joining Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles 2, Disney’s Frozen 2 and Disney’s Moana.
“We are really excited to see UEFA Playmakers expand over the next four years and to continue our partnership with Disney” said Nadine Kessler, UEFA Managing Director of Women’s Football.
“Combining physical activity with the magic of Disney has proved a winning combination to introduce girls to football, get parents involved and give every girl the opportunity to experience the joy of our beautiful game. I am excited to see professional football players emerge in the future who can trace their love for football back to their very first Playmakers session”.
Nicole Morse, Vice President Brand and Franchise Marketing, Disney EMEA, said: “UEFA Playmakers inspired by Disney has been such a brilliant collaboration that it was a no-brainer to continue the programme for another four years. It’s been so satisfying seeing our strong female characters and stories, such as Moana and Frozen, being such a force for good, inspiring families and children to get more active and to kick start a love of football. The feedback from girls, parents and coaches has been so positive and we look forward to engaging new audiences with our storytelling, starting with our new Encanto story going live in 47 national associations across Europe.”
UEFA reports that 96% of girls ‘really enjoy’ the sessions, whilst 94% of parents would recommend sessions to other parents.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at email@example.com