January 18, 2018
Beginning in 2018, the AUDL and EuroStars will partner up to provide a three-year commitment in growing the visibility and opportunities for women in ultimate. More details about local events will be announced in the following weeks and months. The following is the complete text of the announcement from the EuroStars site written by Rebecca Forth:
It is with pleasure that the EuroStars announce a three-year partnership with the AUDL, who have agreed to host the now annual Americus Pro Cup through 2020.
We were thrilled with the success of the inaugural EuroStars tour in 2017 and it’s knock on effects. We were particularly pleased that—thanks to the support of the worldwide ultimate community—we were able to livestream all of our 2017 games, making them accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Tens of thousands of you tuned in, with a total of more than 150,000 views of our games on Facebook having been chalked up to date. None of it would have been possible without: USA Ultimate, the Ultimate Athlete Project, Fulcrum Media, Discraft, and everyone who so generously contributed to our crowdfunding campaign. Of course we cannot forget you, our fans, and we would like to offer another huge vote of thanks to each and every one of you. It was an incredibly positive experience for the players, and for an enormous number of our spectators.
We would like to replicate and improve upon that success. Lessons were definitely learned along the way in 2017, and we are excited that the AUDL have offered to partner us for the next three years. They will be helping us to promote women’s ultimate, expand our audience, and build a legitimate women’s pro ultimate brand. The partnership will also mean that we will not need to rely on crowdfunding to support our live-streams. Discussions leading to this agreement have been in progress for several months, and we are delighted to have brought them to a positive conclusion. EuroStars look forward to further growth with the benefit of AUDL’s commercial expertise.
As in 2017, our goals will continue to be to:
• INSPIRE women and girls worldwide through visibility and outreach.
• HIGHLIGHT the widespread female ultimate talent found across Europe and North America.
• PROVIDE dedicated European women with an opportunity to play stadium games as part of a team deep with talent.
• SHARE spirit globally, in all its glorious international flavours.
• PROMOTE local showcase playing opportunities for women’s club teams and feature female athletes from their respective communities.
To further achieve these goals, our plans for 2018 include:
1. An increase in reach with clinics in Europe and in America.
2. To add value to the gender equity conversation.
3. To put on a genuine show of women in ultimate. Marketing, promotional efforts, and in-stadium / online game day experiences will exceed or be comparable to the host AUDL team.
4. To further formalise the Americus Pro Cup as the first women’s professional series, with a prize bounty that will be worthy of the contest.
It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge here that there are many ongoing conversations regarding gender equity currently occurring in the ultimate community. We are very happy to be a part of these conversations; it was, after all, one of the main reasons that we organised the EuroStars in the first place. We fully agree with many of you that much work is needed to achieve gender equity, and we recognize that our new partner, the AUDL, has been identified as a focus of discontent and a target for protest.
Why, then, are we partnering with AUDL? We are doing so because we believe it will allow us to maximize our contribution to the gender equity effort. The 2018 Americus Pro Cup will build the profiles of female players and teams from both sides of the Atlantic, reduce the administrative burden on current players, allowing them to focus on performance and outreach, swell audiences, showcase the women’s game to potential investors, the press and the general public, and precipitate an actual commitment from current AUDL franchise owners to make concrete investments in women’s ultimate. We want more amazing women on our screens and in front of crowds.
The AUDL are a supportive partner of our goals and plans and are not entering this partnership in order to derive financial benefit. In fact, as noted, they are contributing both money, personnel, and invaluable expertise.
We understand the complexities of the issues involved, and the range of opinions in circulation as to the best approaches to achieving gender equity. We hope that our positive messages will resonate with some of you, and that you will join us to help build something of which we can all be proud. Together we are stronger.