Vixens trade sponsorship for social movement in 2020

3 months ago

The Melbourne Vixens have always been bold trailblazers, both on and off the court.

Heading towards the halfway point of the 2020 Suncorp Super Netball season, the Vixens currently sit atop the League ladder with many already tipping them as clear favourites to lift the coveted Championship trophy. And yesterday in their Round 6 clash with the GIANTS, they took to the court with a notable addition to their iconic Puma dress.

#WitnessFearless acts as a challenging statement to those of the periphery of the netball community; other sports fans, media, keyboard warriors and general disbelievers.

It challenges them to think differently and question their pre-conceived notions on what netball is.

Netball is FEARLESS, and netballers are FEARLESS athletes.

In partnership with player apparel partner Puma, as a continuation of the ‘no glamour here’ content piece, the Melbourne Vixens are using their opportunity to take to the court in 2020 as one to harness change.

In 2020 the Melbourne Vixens are replacing their traditional front-of-dress partner branding position with a social movement campaign, designed to continue to grow the conversation about the need to see a stronger backing of women’s sport.

Since the inception of the Melbourne Vixens, this dress branding position has been the prime real estate for the club’s most exclusive Premier Partner.

Netball Victoria’s Business Development Manager, Aaron Bosse, said that particularly in the era of COVID-19, it was a significant decision made by the club to trade a potential sponsorship opportunity to instead promote a social movement.

“This decision was not taken lightly, but we truly believe in this campaign, so much so that #WitnessFearless will take pride of place on the front of the playing dress for the remainder of the 2020 season. We trust that the brand to replace this challenging statement on our dress in 2021 will be just as passionate and supportive of the need to drive not only netball, but our wider industry forward as we are.

“The response from the ‘More Than Glamour’ campaign to date has been truly remarkable. Clearly there’s a want and need to see stronger backing and support of women’s sport. The conversation around equity in sport is not new, and so we’re just really excited by what #WitnessFearless can spark, and I’m confident it’s the catalyst netball needs to go to the next level,”

According to Nielsen Sports, the Vixens dress branding generated the highest QI media value of any Suncorp Super Netball team in 2019. The front-of-dress position delivered a QI media value of $661K alone, with the wider game day property estimated to be worth over $1M in total media value.

“You will see #WitnessFearless on our dress for the remainder of the 2020 season in our premier branding position,” Bosse continued. “We’re still in market for 2021 to find a partner that aligns with the philosophy of #WitnessFearless, our team, and their core values.”

The Melbourne Vixens are the most recognised female sporting team in the county, with the results both on and off the court to match. The Vixens boast the highest club membership, match day attendance, broadcast viewership and social following compared to any other Suncorp Super Netball team.

Sports sponsorship specialists, True North Research, recently revealed that Puma’s partnership with the Vixens ranks number one for driving first time usage of the brand amongst those aware of the partnership.

“This is a brand that intrinsically understands the netball community and there is an obvious brand fit,” explained True North Research Director, Georgie Maynard. “Puma’s partnership also benefits from factors that are inherent to the Vixens; they have one of the most primed supporter bases for sponsorship messaging, and there is a strong emotional connection amongst fans. These two factors drive stronger engagement with sponsors’ messaging.”

If you’d like to discuss partnership opportunities with Netball Victoria and the Melbourne Vixens, please contact Aaron Bosse (Business Development Manager) on 0458 888 981 or via aaron.bosse@netballvic.com.au.

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