- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) - Nike has extended its sponsorship deal with the National Women’s Soccer League through 2019.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based shoe and apparel company has outfitted the women’s professional league with uniforms and training gear for each of its teams since it launched in 2013.

The announcement Wednesday comes as the NWSL prepares for its championship game Thursday night between the Seattle Reign and FC Kansas City at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. Both teams worked out at Nike’s headquarters Tuesday.

The sponsorship deal has been key for the NWSL. No other pro women’s soccer league in the United States has lasted more than three seasons.

Nike will also supply the league’s official game ball.

“We see the NWSL as the leading women’s soccer league in the world, and it (the partnership) complements our strategy of supporting women’s soccer top to bottom and coast to coast,” said Andrea Perez, North American general manager of soccer for Nike.

The NWSL has been boosted this year by the U.S. national team’s victory this summer in the World Cup. Players from that celebrated team are distributed throughout the league, which reported a bump in average attendance following the U.S. victory over Japan in the World Cup final in July.

Nike has had a partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation since 1995, providing gear for both the men’s and women’s national teams. The company also has sponsorship deals with many of the U.S. players, including Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd.

“Nike has been an outstanding partner and shares our long-term vision for progress, innovation, and player development,” NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush said in a statement Wednesday. “We have enjoyed a tremendous start to our journey together, and we continue to look for ways to elevate soccer in this country to new heights. This partnership is integral to that journey.”

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