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Mazda to play on with Kangaroos

Long relationship: North Melbourne Football Club chairman James Brayshaw (left) and Mazda Australia public relations manager Steve Maciver at today’s sponsorship announcement.

North Melbourne FC and Mazda Australia extend partnership out to 2016

Mazda logo31 Oct 2013

MAZDA Australia today confirmed it will continue to kick goals with the North Melbourne Football Club by extending its agreement as the club’s major sponsor for a further three years.

Kangaroos players will keep the Mazda logo on their guernsey until at least the end of the 2016 AFL season, an extension of the sponsorship agreement that started in 1999.

Mazda said in a statement that by the end of the new agreement, the Japanese car-maker will have been the club’s major sponsor for 18 years, marking a new record for a North Melbourne sponsor and making it one of the longest corporate relationships in the AFL.

However, it cannot match the record of Ford’s sponsorship of the Geelong Football Club that, at 88 years and counting, is said to be the longest unbroken sports sponsorship in the world.

Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said both Mazda and the Kangaroos share similar brand values which have seen the club and the car-maker grow in recent years.

“Mazda and North Melbourne share a common DNA both are youthful, innovative, energetic, stylish and sporty. Sharing these attributes makes staying on as major sponsor an easy decision,” he said.

“Our research tells us that there is a direct correlation between our sponsorship of North, improved brand awareness and familiarity, and increased purchase intent – our partnership has inspired more people to buy a Mazda.”

Since taking over sponsorship of the club in 1999, Mazda has risen from a top-ten brand in Australia to being one of the top-five best selling car-makers in the country, thanks largely to its hugely popular Mazda3 small car range.

Mr Doak said the next three years would be an exciting time for both Mazda and North Melbourne, with the car-maker focused on boosting its position in the local market even further.

“Mazda wants to experience further sales growth as we launch an All-New Mazda3 next year, remain as a top three car brand and maintain its place as Australia’s number one full-line importer, while North is striving for a premiership.

“Together I’m confident that these goals are possible. We wish the club all the best for 2014 and beyond.”

Since Mazda took over as major sponsor in 1999, North Melbourne has taken home the 1999 AFL premiership, significantly boosted its membership base and built a state-of-the-art training facility at its base in Arden Street, North Melbourne.

North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw was at the announcement today and said it was “an honour” for the club to be involved with Mazda.

“To have a global brand like Mazda aligned with our club is something that has always been humbling for us,” he said.

“Mazda has been incredibly loyal to this club over a long period of time and we value our relationship extremely highly.”

A number of car-makers have spent big bucks on sports sponsorship in recent years, including South Korean car-maker Kia that announced in 2011 it would spend $10 million over five years to sponsor the Essendon Football Club.

Earlier this year, Holden took over as major sponsor of the Collingwood Football Club and its team of coaches from Lexus and it grabbed naming rights to the National Rugby League State of Origin Series.

Other high-profile AFL sponsorships include Renault’s recent deal with Port Adelaide, Skoda and Greater Western Sydney, Toyota sponsors both the Adelaide Crows and the AFL Premiership Season, while ill-fated German brand Opel sponsored this year’s wooden spoon runner-up, the Melbourne Football Club.

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