HomeAFLExclusive: Toyota CMO Explains Grassroots Focus

Exclusive: Toyota CMO Explains Grassroots Focus

Exclusive: Toyota CMO Explains Grassroots Focus

In an exclusive interview with Ministry of Sport as part of the Brand Break series, Toyota chief marketing officer, Vin Naidoo, discussed the brands focus on supporting grassroots sport’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

After recently announcing the third consecutive year of the Toyota Good for Footy Gear Grant program, in partnership with the AFL, focused on providing 100 female football teams around Australia with funding to supply new uniforms for female players, Naidoo said the program will focus largely on helping grassroots sporting organisations recover from COVID-19.

“We faced some challenges in the past couple of years, since 2020 Australians have faced a number of lockdowns and restrictions due to the pandemic,” Naidoo told Ministry of Sport.

“As the result, the football community both at a professional and local level have been impacted.

“We’ve been working alongside our partners to provide tangible support to community clubs and provide much needed financial relief in addition to the AFL’s own initiatives.

“The Toyota Good For Footy Gear grant program provided over $281,000 worth of gear for female football clubs and with our 2022 contribution, we’re set to give at least $420,000 in total to clubs.

“That’s an incredible initiative which addressed the real needs at a ground level.

“It’s a platform which not only provides financial support but also allows something positive for players, volunteers and the wider community to rally around.

“We recognise grassroots clubs are the heartbeat of communities all around Australia and we’ve been working with the AFL to create opportunities for meaningful change.

“Grassroots clubs, especially in states with frequent lockdowns and restrictions are very much in recovery mode and rely on additional programs such as the Good For Footy program to assist them in rebuilding their clubs.

“More importantly, it’s about reconnecting with their communities.

“We’ve launched the program to support females participating in sport following data which showed women were wearing men’s hand-me-down ill-fitting guernseys,” he said.

When asked about the direct focus the 2022 program has on promoting women’s sport at the grassroots level, Naidoo said: “A major goal for us for 2022 is for women’s participation to continue to flourish.”

“We’re seeing the interest in women and girls’ teams continue and with the steady growth comes facility upgrade requirements, additional resourcing, new uniforms and equipment, which we will assist the AFL in providing more access and opportunities.

“We’re working with the AFL to create a solid foundation to future proof the game.

“The Toyota Good For Footy Gear program is helping women and girls feel more confident by providing access to help them play the game they love…

“For us it’s about finding the barriers and pain points from communities and helping support them.

“Through their insights you can support initiatives meaningful for them.

“It’s not always about the scale, support from a grassroots level can drive positive change in our society and that’s our recommendation.

“When we look at the value we receive as a brand, it’s about inspiring progress for all and that’s what we’ve set out to do through our ongoing commitment to grow the game.

“The value is about helping people build confidence, push boundaries, and make friends through footy,” Naidoo told Ministry of Sport.

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