Victorian beer Furphy will make a major play into the AFL Women’s League (AFLW) by increasing sponsorships of the Melbourne Demons, St Kilda Saints, Richmond Tigers and Sydney Swans to match its sponsorship commitment across AFL and AFLW teams.
Born at the Little Creatures Brewery in Geelong and brewed using 100% Victorian hops and malt, Furphy has fast become a favourite in the Victorian beer market and is now a key supporter of both the AFL and AFLW teams putting them on equal footing.
Lion’s Chief Marketing Officer, Anubha Sahasrabuddhe, said anyone who has experienced a game of AFLW knows how captivating and electric it is. She says in just five seasons, women players have become important role models across the Australian community, inspiring new fans and members and promoting a football culture that is even more inclusive.
“Today’s announcement is one we’re all really proud to be part of – and it’s a decision that naturally aligns with our values,” Sahasrabuddhe said.
Sahasrabuddhe believes the commitment will go a long way to support the clubs and raise the profile of AFLW around the country and says at the same time, there’s a significant path ahead to close the gender pay gap on the footy field. Furphy wants to do its bit to show the competitions stand side by side.
CEO of the St Kilda Football Club, Matt Finnis, said, “We’re very proud to extend our partnership with Furphy into the women’s program for 2022.”
Finnis says having a homegrown business like Furphy invest in the AFLW is a testament to the brand’s commitment to helping grow the game and expanding its reach across both the women’s and men’s games.
Sahasrabuddhe hopes that today’s announcement will see other sponsors make similar commitments.
“From where we sit, it’s only fair that AFL and AFLW clubs get the same recognition,” she said.
“It’s time to step up, and I’m proud that’s what Furphy is doing. We know that Furphy is a beer for everyone to enjoy – that’s the same when it comes to footy.”
The AFLW is now the most-watched female sporting competition in Australia, and with further expansion of the competition expected, investment by the beer brand is well-timed. The announcement sees Furphy build on its successful club campaigns – such as Furphy ‘Unbelievable Moments’ – by rolling out the same initiatives to their AFLW counterparts. It also sees Furphy named as back of guernsey sponsor of St Kilda and Melbourne for all games. Furphy’s commitment to the Swans will commence when Sydney’s AFLW team starts next season.