Toyota agree biggest sponsorship in Australian sport
The AFL has extended its partnership with major sponsor Toyota Australia for a further three years in what league chief executive Andrew Demetriou has described as likely "the largest sponsorship for any sport in this country."
Toyota has been the league's premier partner since 2004 and the extension - announced on Friday morning at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne - will see the relationship last at least 11 years.
Demetriou said the partnership had helped grow the game at all levels, with Toyota's dealer network already contributing more than AUS$2 million (US$2.15 million) to community football through its 'Good for Footy' programme, a grassroots initiative which encourages dealers to support their chosen local clubs through sponsorship and promotional activities, such as providing financial support for equipment.
While the league didn't disclose the exact value of the sponsorship deal, Demetriou said the arrangement was "very significant". Sources in Australia have placed it as worth at least AUS$8 million (US$8.6 million) per year.
"We've enjoyed a fantastic partnership with Toyota since 2004 and we've seen the partnership just continue to grow," said Demetriou. "The game's grown, we know Toyota's sales have grown, and to be able to extend that for another three years, in what is a pretty difficult environment, we are extremely grateful.
"Attendances have increased from 6.6 million people in 2004 to 7.4 million people in 2010 and memberships have grown from 495,000 to over 630,000. The health of Australian football is largely because of companies like Toyota."
Toyota holds the naming rights to events such as the Toyota AFL Premiership Season, the Toyota AFL Finals Series, the Toyota AFL Grand Final and the Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade.
Toyota Australia senior executive director David Buttner said the agreement had become stronger each year since its 2004 inception. "Toyota is thrilled to be renewing its sponsorship with the AFL," he said. "Supporting the game we all love is a priority for Toyota and we want to continue to build our brand by aligning Toyota with the spirit and passion of football. That extends from the elite level right through to the local clubs that are the foundation of this great game."
Buttner said Toyota was committed to providing a further AUS$1 million (US$1.1 million) through the 'Good for Footy' programme for ground improvements. clubroom renovations, equipment, uniforms and medical supplies.
He also announced an expansion designed to protect the health of young footballers with all players in the programme over the next three years to have access to baseline concussion testing. Grassroots players will be able to utilise the same testing that AFL footballers are exposed to measure cognitive brain function after they suffer a concussion.
Demetriou said the move to protect the health of all footballers again demonstrated Toyota's commitment to the game at grassroots level.
"We all know it's a topical issue at the moment, concussion, it's a very serious issue, and to be able to provide that facility at grassroots level for young players and players aren't at the elite level is tremendous," he said. "It's really important and it can only be a positive to prevent players going back onto the field if they are concussed.
"This is a wonderful thing and it's pretty hard to explain to people if you've got a partnership with a company, they don't have to do those sorts of things but with Toyota, they always go the extra mile and we are very appreciative of that."blog comments powered by Disqus
- Length of contract: 4 years
- Annualised value: US$8.6 million
- Overall value: US$34.4 million
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Supercheap Auto extends sponsorship of Bathurst 1000 - 11 October 2010
Toyota extends title sponsorship of NRL youth cup - 04 October 2010
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North Queensland Cowboys renew multiple sponsorships - 10 November 2010
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