PepsiCo Brands Lay’s® and Gatorade® Strengthen Commitment to Supporting Women in Sport in Celebration of UEFA Women’s Champions League Final


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Ahead of the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) Final, Lay’s and Gatorade seamlessly brought together the power, scale and resources of the two brands to launch a series of community initiatives in this year’s host city of Bilbao, Spain, to give young female athletes more access to football – including hosting an action-packed Gatorade 5v5 tournament on a newly unveiled Lay’s RePlay pitch this weekend.

Despite the rise in popularity of women’s sports – particularly women’s football – there is still a way to go until female players receive the same level of support as their male equivalents. PepsiCo, a proud partner of UEFA Women’s Football, continues to invest in initiatives across its brand portfolio to drive engagement and conversation within the women’s game, while inspiring women’s opportunities and participation in the sport from grassroots to professional levels.

Lay’s RePlay, a global initiative created in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children and Common Goal, aims to bring joy and access to play to deserving communities by creating environmentally friendly football pitches partially made of reused chip bags. Gatorade reaffirmed its commitment to supporting amateur footballers across the world by leveraging the newly opened Lay’s RePlay pitch for its 5v5 program, a grassroots tournament designed to promote and showcase equal opportunities for young talent.

23 MAY: Lay’s RePlay Pitch – Bilbao, Spain – Errekalde Sports Center

On May 23rd, Lay’s RePlay unveiled its 11th pitch with a variety of local activations for the Bilbao community, including a female artist-designed mural to represent and inspire the community and an unveiling of the centre circle, as an homage to UWCL opening ceremonies, to unveil the brand-new pitch. Manchester City player Laia Aleixandri and former Spanish professional footballer Fernando Llorente connected with young athletes on-site, speaking to their personal experiences in football, emphasizing the benefits associated with playing and encouraging the girls to join the program to learn and grow on the pitch and beyond.

In selecting Bilbao as the program’s next impact epicenter, Lay’s RePlay and partners, Common Goal, ‘Bilbao Kirolak’ (Municipality) and Fundazioa (Athletic Club Foundation), will offer inclusive sports programming for young migrant women footballers in the communities of Errekalde and Ibaiondo. This initiative provides access to sports training, educational resources, and a safe place to play, aiming to support socio-emotional growth and community building while fostering belonging, teamwork, and collaboration. In celebration of the initiative’s Bilbao debut, participants, their families and the entire community came together at the new facility for a day filled with football fun and inspiring words from football icons Laia Aleixandri and Fernando Llorente.

Lay’s RePlay leverages the power of play and innovative sustainability to deliver positive outcomes for both the planet and people. To create a Lay’s RePlay pitch, empty packs of chips are collected and made into pellets that form the underlying layer beneath the AstroTurf.

With pitches spanning the globe throughout communities in South Africa, Italy, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Mexico and more – the program is already making a lasting impact, with 1.5K participants (per month) directly impacted through 8K hours of Lay’s RePlay educational programming, and a further 2.3K (per month) wider community members indirectly impacted through general use of the pitch, special community events or families of the participants. Lay’s RePlay builds on the work done by Lay’s and the UEFA Foundation for Children that delivered three artificial football fields in the Za’atari and Azraq Refugee Camps in 2017 and 2018 and have since provided 35,000 people access to the sport.

24 and 25 MAY: Gatorade 5v5 Tournament on Lay’s RePlay Pitch – Bilbao, Spain

On May 24th, the latest iteration of Gatorade’s 5v5 tournament took place on the new Lay’s RePlay pitch in Bilbao, in tandem with the brand’s global initiative, “Confidence Coaches,” which connects football legends with youth players. Understanding the common barriers women in sport face, chosen “Confidence Coaches” share stories and advice that fuels these up-and-coming players with the confidence they need to keep kicking. This year in Bilbao, Gatorade Confidence Coaches featured world class talent, including former English footballer Rachel Yankey, alongside Laia Aleixandri and Fernando Llorente. At the UWCL final on May 24, the trio met with the final girls’ teams of the 5v5 tournament to talk confidence and self-esteem in competitive sports.

In alignment with Gatorade’s People and Planet priorities, the Bilbao 5v5 tournament was executed with sustainability in mind, including all clothing and medals for the tournament produced as sustainably as possible (both materials and production).

Now in its seventh year, 5v5 continues to deliver positive formative sporting experiences to thousands of young amateur athletes, ages 14 to 16, from diverse backgrounds, giving over 151,000 boys and girls (and counting!) the chance to excel in the sport they love.

Gatorade’s “Confidence Coach” initiative, launched in 2023, aims to inspire future generations by partnering with iconic football players to serve as Confidence Coaches, who share their own experiences to help motivate aspiring players. Gatorade is thrilled to give young adults better opportunities to play sport and realize their potential and is committed to helping 2.5 million teens worldwide access the life changing power of sport by 2030. 

Mustafa Shamseldin, Category Growth Officer and CMO International Foods, says: “Lay’s RePlay illuminates both the human and sustainability elements behind PepsiCo’s mission of creating local activations that propel impact on a global scale. The opening of this pitch in Bilbao demonstrates the ongoing efforts and greater impact PepsiCo has on supporting women in sport – providing resources to educate, facilitate and inspire young women globally to pursue their passion for the beautiful game – and its fierce commitment to sustainability efforts – opening its 11th pitch, partially made of reused Lay’s chip bags. Lay’s and Gatorade joining forces in Bilbao to drive change for women in football is a prime example of what PepsiCo can accomplish with the Power of One.”

Mark Kirkham, SVP and CMO International Beverages, says: “Gatorade’s 5v5 tournament provides an incredible opportunity for girls in grassroots football, and we know how important it is to facilitate truly inclusive participation for all genders. We give the talented players everything they need to succeed and play their best, including access to our inspiring Confidence Coaches. It was incredible to see how football legends Rachel, Laia and Fernando inspired the girls by giving them the confidence to win!”

Laia Aleixandri, Manchester City Footballer, says: “The UWCL Final is always an exciting time for me. However, being able to be a part of the Lay’s Replay and Gatorade 5v5 programs’ shared vision of empowering women in football makes this year’s Final extra special! Working alongside these amazing brands, I’m thrilled to be a role model for young female football players everywhere, showing them that dreams are worth chasing. Together, we’re not just playing the game, we’re changing it – making sure that every girl who loves football knows she belongs on the field.” 

Fernando Llorente, Former Professional Footballer, says: “Lay’s Replay and Gatorade 5V5 are amazing initiatives that go beyond the game – it’s about making a difference for women athletes. Seeing both of these programs come to life in Bilbao during the UWCL Final is a special moment—it shows how far we’ve come in making soccer more inclusive, especially for women. Teaming up with brands that share my passion for inclusivity allows me to not only inspire young female players but also to be a supportive ally in their journey. Together, we’re rewriting the rules and creating a future where every player has an equal shot at success.” 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Paul Bromley, [email protected] 

About PepsiCoPepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $91 billion in net revenue in 2023, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with pep+ (PepsiCo Positive). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit http://www.pepsico.com, and follow on X (Twitter), Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn @PepsiCo.

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