This week marks four years since the re-launch of the women’s team, but despite the rapid growth the sport has experienced since then, the general public perception of women's football does not always match the reality of what can be seen on the pitch.
In 2014, FIFA's Women's Football Survey found that only 13% of its member associations believed women’s football was perceived as a quality sport. Same City, Same Passion has been created to combat this misconception and to show that the similarities to the men’s game are far greater than the differences, and that men's, women's, boys’ and girls’ football can be enjoyed by everyone.
To kickstart the campaign, Manchester City have released a video on social media highlighting that football's unchanging foundations – skills, shared experiences and passion – are intrinsic to the game wherever, whenever and however it is being played.
Fans are encouraged to reply to the video with a statement on why they're passionate about any or all of Manchester City's teams. One fan will be selected at random to win an official Manchester City home shirt signed by the club’s two first team captains – Steph Houghton and Vincent Kompany.
On the weekend of 10/11 February, Manchester City will host a dedicated Same City, Same Passion weekend, including activations at both the men’s Premier League fixture v Leicester City on Saturday, 10 February, and the women’s FA WSL fixture v Liverpool Ladies on Sunday, 11 February.
As part of the campaign, Manchester City have merged their men’s and women’s social media channels to provide supporters with 24/7 access to all City's news and exclusive, behind the scenes content in one place.
To ensure fans never miss a minute of the action no matter when and where either team is playing, @ManCityWomen will continue to exist on Twitter as a solely matchday resource providing play-by-play updates for every women’s game. Likewise, match action from the men’s fixtures will be available via @ManCity.
Commenting on the launch of Same City, Same Passion, Omar Berrada, Chief Operating Officer, Manchester City, explained:
“Yesterday, we celebrated four years since the re-launch of Manchester City Women. Since 2014, both the game as a whole, and the Manchester City team, have experienced incredible change and success, but we know this is only the beginning.
“Misconceptions about the professionalism and quality of women’s football still exist and that needs to change. Same City, Same Passion aims to highlight that the similarities between men’s and women’s football are far greater than the differences and, regardless of who’s playing, it’s just football. Merging social media channels as part of this campaign offers us a unique opportunity to increase the visibility of our women’s team and to offer our supporters the chance to enjoy the excitement and passion that defines every Manchester City team.”
Kevin Parker, General Secretary, Manchester City Official Supporters Club, added:
“I think Same City, Same Passion is a brilliant initiative and a great way for all Manchester City fans to see what both our teams have to offer. There are many people who don’t yet realise how amazing our women’s team is, merging the social media channels will give them the opportunity to see just how exciting women’s football is.”
Same City, Same Passion is part of Manchester City’s continued commitment to celebrating equality, diversity and inclusion in football.