HomeAFLInside Look: How The AFL’s Move To Queensland Affected Premier Partner, Toyota

Inside Look: How The AFL’s Move To Queensland Affected Premier Partner, Toyota

Inside Look: How The AFL’s Move To Queensland Affected Premier Partner, Toyota

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n an interview with Ministry of Sport, Toyota Australia chief marketing officer, John Pappas, discussed how Toyota’s Premier Partnership with the AFL evolved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pappas said 2020 has been a difficult year for all Australians, but it was important for Toyota to continue its support of sport, from grassroots right up to the AFL itself.

“We worked with all our partners to support them in the most appropriate ways in what was a difficult year for all Australians,” Pappas told Ministry of Sport.

“Toyota has been a proud partner of the AFL since 2004.

“Through this long-standing partnership, we have developed a strong relationship and commitment to the sport, not only at the elite level, but also for grassroots clubs who are the lifeblood of this great game.

“Those clubs play a vital role in their communities, which is why we are pleased the Toyota Good for Footy raffle raised a record amount for grassroots clubs this year,” he said.

Speaking more on the Toyota Good for Footy initiative, which the AFL and Toyota announced earlier in the year has now raised over $10 million for grassroots sports, Pappas said support for grassroots is vital from brands.

“Grassroots sport is an integral part of local communities,” Pappas said.

“It brings people together, helps to foster inclusion and builds the skills that are needed for our future generation.

“For us, supporting footy and sport from the grassroots all the way to the elite is an important element of our sponsorships.

“All funds raised through Toyota’s Good for Footy and Good for Cricket raffles go directly to grassroots clubs to help them to field teams, buy equipment, and make other improvements.

“It has been amazing to see communities rally together this year to support these clubs.

“In fact, it was a record-breaking year with the Toyota Good for Footy raffle raising over $860,000 and selling out for the first time.

“We’re proud to have helped grassroots footy and cricket clubs across Australia raise much-needed funds over many years,” he said.

When asked how Toyota first responded to the AFL being forced to suspend its season in March due to COVID-19, Pappas said Toyota was committed to supporting the AFL’s decision-making, and the results proved worthwhile when all was said and done.

“We supported the AFL’s decision, and we were confident in their ability to get the season up and running again, in keeping with the best advice of health authorities and governments,” Pappas said.

“Like the AFL, we are committed to the health and well-being of everyone associated with our business and sponsorships, including local communities.

“We are also aware of the suffering that continues to affect many Australians.

“So, while the situation we faced was disappointing for all footy fans, we were determined to play our role in keeping our communities safe.

“We take a long-term view with our sponsorships, building productive partnerships based on trust and mutual benefit.

“We worked closely with the AFL to navigate the challenges and deliver a truly competitive season and a thrilling finals series.

“TV exposure, digital and social channels were stronger than ever, as was our engagement with grassroots footy.

“The move to Queensland hubs and a historic Grand final at the Gabba, the first ever stages outside Victoria, enabled our Queensland office and dealer network to engage more closely than ever with the AFL,” he said.

Discussing the key takeaways from the 2020 AFL season, Pappas said: “Take nothing for granted.”

“The 2020 season brings home the value of working closely and collaboratively with our internal teams, our agencies, and the AFL.

“It has also reinforced just how important the AFL is to fans and communities… how much it adds to their lives… and how much they missed being able to attend games on the weekend.

“We also know the difficulties faced by local clubs with playing seasons abandoned in 2020, so we’re looking forward to continuing our support in 2021 with the Toyota Good for Footy raffle,” he told Ministry of Sport.

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