Women’s sport has had another victory with Commonwealth Bank investing $15 million in Cricket Australia over the next three years.
The landmark deal sees CommBank invest $5 million per year in women’s cricket, as well as indigenous and disabled programs around the world.
The partnership is a boost in funding for the national women’s team and the women’s Big Bash League. It will also send Australia’s indigenous men’s and women’s squads on a tour of England in 2018 as part of plans to commemorate the famous all-Aboriginal team tour of England in 1868.
It is being referred to as the “the single largest investment in women’s sport and diversity programs in Australia”, according to Cricket Australia.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland says the next phase of the deal will focus on broadening participation for the national game.
“We will work together to strengthen the foundations of cricket for women, Indigenous players, players with disabilities and the local clubs around the country that are the lifeblood of the game.
“Our ongoing partnership will give cricket fans and players of all ages, genders, cultures and abilities the chance to step up to the crease and get involved in Australia’s favourite summer pastime.”
M&C Saatchi is the creative agency for CommBank. Jamie Gilbert-Smith, MD of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, describes the move from CommBank as “powerful and progressive”.
“It will serve to attract further exposure, drive participation and create sporting role models beyond the traditional ‘go-to’ male sports star, which can only have broader benefits," Gilbert-Smith says. "Sport is a metaphor for our society, and having broader role models helps reframe how we see others and ourselves. Brands are shaped by the role they play in people’s lives. They become more successful and create broader impact than those solely interested in commercial messages."
He adds: “It’s a landmark in Australian sports sponsorships and represents a long-term investment in the future of Australian society.”
The deal follows Netball Australia’s deal with Nine and Telstra, and a wider shift towards elite women’s sport breaking down gender stereotypes.
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