An image from a Women's National Football Conference game. An image from a Women’s National Football Conference game. (WNFC.)

Saturday will see the debut of an interesting new expanded partnership. That’s between the Women’s National Football Conference and streaming platform Caffeine. The WNFC was founded in 2018 and played its first season in 2019. It’s set to start its fifth season Saturday, and all of its matches there will now be on streaming platform Caffeine.

That Caffeine deal is under a season pass package costing $11.99 per month or $39.99 for the season. It also includes team-specific original content, match highlights, and the original docuseries This is Spartaaa, following the Texas Elite Spartans, the undefeated 2023 WNFC Champions.

This comes on the heels of a previous Caffeine deal last year for live and on-demand coverage of select games (which drew more than 700,000 views on the platform within the first week and over 10 million views total across all league content, as per Caffeine). Last year, all games were available through the league’s own wScore platform, but this year, they’re going all-in with Caffeine. League founder Odessa “OJ” Jenkins spoke to AA via email about that and the league, and said the Caffeine partnership has been great for them so far.

“We engaged with Caffeine at the tail-end of last season to offer on-demand game coverage and other league content. The initial results saw massive new fan engagement and viewership of our content. Driving over 10 million views in 100 days is explosive growth for our sport.”

She said the streaming platform (which also has deals with LIV Golf, the World Surf League, and much more) was the right partner to work with going forward.

“Caffeine was willing to be innovative with us, to invest in us, and build with us. They are the type of partner who is unafraid to try new things and is all about seeing us win. In turn, we wanted to bring some of our most valuable assets to them: our content and our fans.”

Looking back at the start of the WNFC, Jenkins said her goal with it has been to boost women in tackle football.

“I formed the Women’s National Football Conference to create equity, awareness and economic advancement for women in tackle football. After a decade in the game, I looked back and saw that I had accomplished everything you could in women’s football: Hall of Fame, national championships, gold medals, yet, no one knew who we were and no one was thinking about sponsoring or paying us.

“I recognized and honored the work involved in creating opportunities that men and boys in football had, but the drastic disparities between women’s and men’s football including on-field experience, recognition, and compensation was too much for me to handle. My vision for the WNFC is to provide a sports property and business where women can compete, be seen, and be compensated at the highest level.”

She said they’ve been on a strong track to date across multiple areas.

“Over four years, we have experienced significant growth and development, emphasizing a commitment to forging a professional and competitive environment for women to play football. In addition to three straight years of revenue increase, we’re proud of the following:

“Expansion in team numbers and athlete participation. The WNFC has grown to feature 16 teams across the country. Recently, we sold our 17th franchise to a great ownership group in Chicago. This expansion reflects the growing interest and participation in women’s football, providing more athletes with the opportunity to compete at the highest level.

“Diversity and representation. We continue to boost a high percentage of women of color, emphasizing our commitment to amplifying black and brown women in professional sports.

“Partnerships and sponsorships. Over our first four years, we set the standard for corporate sponsorship in women’s tackle football, successfully garnering sponsorships and partnerships with major brands like Adidas, Riddell Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, EA Sports. These partnerships are essential for the league’s sustainability and growth, offering financial support and enhancing our visibility and legitimacy.

“Community engagement and impact. Beyond just the games, the WNFC is actively involved in community engagement through our grassroots charity “Got Her Back” where we aim to inspire, support and educate young female athletes, promoting football as a viable sport for women and girls.

“Global representation. The league’s influence extends beyond the United States, with players representing over 20 countries worldwide.”

And she said Caffeine, and their work with a wide number of emerging leagues, made them a natural fit for the WNFC.

“Caffeine’s unique approach to generating viewership for emerging and next generation leagues is above and beyond what we have seen from others. We also love the nature of their culture. They believe in the power of sports, that it doesn’t just belong to the billionaires, and have made it their mission to lower the barrier of entry for leagues to connect with fans at scale. I also love that there was already great engagement with women’s sports on the platform and the product is easy to use and find. Women’s sports fans need that.”

Jenkins said it’s important for the WNFC to build strong non-game content, too, as with the This is Spartaaa docuseries. And she thinks Caffeine’s platform is also a good place for that.

“The best part of the WNFC is the women and coaches! These people are incredible competitors, all marching towards a single goal to build a successful professional league. Some of the best stories and entertaining people in sports live in the WNFC. We know the world will need to see and fall in love/hate with that if we want to grow this sport. They will need to see behind the helmet.”

She said she thinks there’s huge growth on the horizon for women’s football.

“Women’s football is next. With the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, college scholarships, NIL deals, and more, women’s sports are ready to have stars who wear helmets and lay the boom! The most exciting sport in the world will be the thing that takes women’s sports to the next level, and I believe that the WNFC will lead the way.”

And she said this move to having everything on Caffeine should help the WNFC grow, and it’s received strong praise from fans so far.

“Fans are excited! One place for all games that’s easy to get to and easy to use. They cannot wait!”

The WNFC content on Caffeine can be found here.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.