Australia’s men’s hockey team, the number one side in the world and Olympic favourite, has landed its first major sponsorship, with iron ore producer Fortescue Metals Group backing the Kookaburras in a two-year deal.
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson said Monday’s signing was a tremendous vote of confidence and a significant boost for the athletes and team.
“The Kookaburras are the world number one team and there is no doubt high expectations will follow them when they perform on the sporting world’s biggest stage (the Olympics),” said Anderson. “This announcement is a significant boost for the team in what is a huge year, culminating in the Champions Trophy, held in Melbourne in December 2012.”
Fortescue CEO Nev Power said he was delighted to welcome the Kookaburras into the “Fortescue Family” because they were two Australian organisations which shared a strong culture of success through teamwork.
“Fortescue’s most important value is that we are a family so it’s tremendous to bring the world’s best hockey team, the Kookaburras, into our family,” said Power. “This is about bringing together two iconic Australian brands with a shared focus on high performance, teamwork, well-being and resilience.
“Hockey has always been a very important part of the Australian sporting landscape and this partnership gives the Fortescue Family in Perth and the Pilbara the opportunity to cheer on the Kookaburras.”
While sponsors have backed the Kookaburras at individual major tournaments in the past, there has rarely been a sponsorship of the team itself.
Fortescue, the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world, also sponsors Hockey Australia’s National Indigenous program and has gone above and beyond in their support, which has greatly benefited indigenous youth, particularly in the Pilbara.
Indigenous athletes and Kookaburra’s champions, Des Abbott and Joel Carroll are the program’s ambassadors.
The Kookaburras will also be closely involved in the Fortescue learning and development program this year.
Image: Hockey Australia