Firebirds seek principal partner

An exciting opportunity to join the Queensland Firebirds and Netball Queensland as Principal Partner has presented itself on eve of netball’s ground-breaking free-to-air television deal.

The new naming rights sponsor will march hand-in-hand with netball’s most successful team as they aim to win a third title on the bounce in the inaugural year of the Nine Network-broadcast National Netball League, as well as partner with Queensland’s 300,000 strong grassroots netball community.

The chance comes after The Sunday Mail exclusively revealed today that The Coffee Club had walked away from their sponsorship deal with the reigning premiers.

Netball Queensland CEO Catherine Clark said while she was extremely disappointed The Coffee Club had chosen to withdraw their support, she was excited at the opportunity to explore new partnership opportunities after the Firebirds’ biggest year of commercial growth.

“We achieved some amazing results with The Coffee Club, both within Queensland and across Australia in 2016 through media exposure, marketing opportunities and grassroots engagement across Queensland’s 300,000 strong netball community,” Clark said.

“My understanding is their decision was based on the conclusion of the ANZ Championship and the launch of the Australian-only National Netball League competition, reducing their exposure in key New Zealand markets.

“The reality is we are Australia’s premier netball team.  We have a highly engaged 60,000-plus Queensland membership base through Netball Queensland, plus hundreds of thousands of devoted fans. We are looking forward to exploring new opportunities with a Principal Partner who shares our vision for success on and off the court.”

The Queensland Firebirds experienced their most successful year on record in 2016, winning historic back-to-back ANZ championship titles, hosting record crowds, posting merchandise sales growth of 157 per cent and social media following growth of more than 60 per cent.

Netball will experience unprecedented broadcast exposure in 2017, with two matches per week to be shown live in primetime on a Saturday night and two others on delay on the Nine Network.

Clark said the numbers around the Firebirds’ brand were compelling and the Principal Partnership opportunity had landed on the doorstep of an extraordinary boom for the sport at large.

“This development is literally days old but a secret like this is hard to keep and we have already have some organisations who have indicated their interest. They are discussions we will vigorously pursue,” she said.

“Thanks to good management, strong on field performance, a team full of wonderful athletes and our large fan base, the Firebirds are resilient. Our board and management have robust contingency plans in place and this news in no way threatens our participation in next year’s competition.

“Netball is in a sweet spot where the boom in participation, audience numbers and media coverage combine to give it compelling sponsorship return on investment.”

Enquiries: Andrew Blucher, General Manager – Commercial and Sponsorship.