Netball Australia has announced that it will end its nine year association with ANZ at the conclusion of the 2016 Constellation Cup series next month.
In making the announcement, Netball Australia Chief Executive Kate Palmer said, “We have enjoyed an outstanding working relationship with all at ANZ. This is certainly one of the more challenging decisions, because together we have achieved some remarkable outcomes for our sport, our athletes and our fans over the past nine years”.
Today’s announcement follows the decision to end the trans-Tasman netball league known as the ANZ Championship earlier this year. ANZ were the naming rights sponsor of the league for its entire nine years (2008-2016), and were integral to its success and the growth of Netball in Australia during that period. At the time, this was the single largest women’s sports sponsorship across Australasia.
Palmer reflected, “It has not been an easy decision for Netball Australia to part ways with ANZ.
“I am not overstating things to say that ANZ has changed our world. When we first approached ANZ with the idea of supporting a new trans-Tasman competition back in 2007, they embraced the vision we had for our sport.
“The idea of moving to semi-professional status seemed beyond our wildest dreams. In recognising the opportunity, ANZ were the first corporate to make a significant investment in women’s sport”, said Palmer.
“Their investment over the past nine years has seen the netball economy grow ten-fold. The profile of the game has never been higher, and the athletes are now earning a real salary”.
In addition to the ANZ Championship, ANZ has been the naming rights partner of NetSetGO (Netball Australia’s introductory program for netballers aged 5-10) and has invested significantly at the grassroots level through its Community Grants Program, as well as supporting individual athletes such as Sharelle McMahon, Laura Geitz and Caitlin Bassett, as well as Lisa Alexander, Head Coach of the Australian Diamonds, as ANZ Ambassadors.
In 2014, ANZ developed “Netball Nation” to enable the netball community to engage, learn and share their passion for netball. This has evolved into a hugely successful platform, with 85,000 Facebook followers from 45 different countries, and total reach of over 17 million.
As part of ANZ’s support of Netball, ANZ’s Community Grants program provided more than $650,000 of much needed financial support and equipment to netball communities around the country. ANZ staff volunteered at every ANZ Championship match over the past nine years, giving more than 7,750 volunteer hours. And through the ANZ Future Captains program, 360 children joined their heroes on court during the team call-on at the start of every game from 2012 to 2016.
Netball Australia will be publicly acknowledging ANZ’s tremendous contribution to the sport at this year’s Constellation Cup match between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney, on 9 October.
The ANZ Championship will be replaced by a new (yet to be named) national netball league, featuring eight Australian clubs and to be broadcast through Nine and Telstra from February 2017.