Smithy’s signs as naming sponsor for VFL

March 21, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

Coles Liquor’s beer brand, Smithy’s has been named as the Victorian Football League (VFL) new naming rights partner ahead of the 2022 season launch at Coburg Football Club on Monday evening.

Smithy’s namesake, Thomas Henry Smith, helped draft the original rules for the game in 1859 and an Irish-Australian who was a founding member of the Melbourne Football Club. He was the inspiration for the beer. 

AFL Head of State Leagues, Jennie Loughnan, said: “It is a fantastic boost for the VFL competition to welcome a new naming rights partner with the 2022 season about to get underway. To partner with Smithy’s, a brand that has such strong connections to football, makes so much sense.

“The last two years have been very difficult on our competition, the clubs and many in the VFL football community. But we are ready to bounce back in a big way. There is a lot of excitement around the 2022 season given how much football has been missed and having Smithy’s throw their support behind our league and clubs is another positive development for the VFL.”

Smithy’s Bitter and Dry Lager are locally made using local ingredients and collected gold medals at the Melbourne International Beer Competition last year and silver for its Mid Strength, as well as silver medals at the Australian International Beer Awards 2021 for its Dry Lager and Mid Strength beers.

Round One of the 2022 Smithy’s VFL season starts this Friday 25 March. Full fixture details have been confirmed up to Round Eight, with match ups locked in for the remainder of the season. View the fixture here.

The partnership will see the Smithy’s brand appear on ground signage, in broadcast, on finals match balls, across apparel worn by officials and Grand Final team uniforms, as well as VFL digital assets, including streaming, website and app.

Coles Liquor head of brand strategy, Russell Downing said the partnership with the VFL would support one of the most historic and passionately supported community football competitions in the country.

“The VFL is one of the oldest competitions in Australia and we are so proud to have taken naming rights with Smithy’s, which is also founded on Australia’s football heritage. Our investment will support what is a thriving competition in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and Coles Liquor’s own mission to build strong links with local communities around the country.”

L-R Sam Lowson (Coburg FC Player), Jennie Loughnan (Head of State Leagues, AFL) and Doug Lawrence (Northern Bullants player).JPG

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