Growing Innovation – March 2017 edition

Aussie produce + sport = perfect match

Pairing Aussie-grown produce with the Aussie tradition of sport, an exciting new sponsorship deal between the apple industry and Netball Australia has been announced to promote the fruit as the ultimate healthy snack.

Under the brand Aussie Apples – which is managed by Hort Innovation on behalf of the nation’s apple growers – the three-year initiative will encourage Australians to ‘Get your crunch on’, with apples championed at elite international matches and local netball games across the nation.

The $600,000 deal is the first of its kind for Australian apple growers and has been driven strongly by industry. It will include getting apples into the hands of netball players at all levels, signage at matches broadcast on prime-time, free-to-air television, TV advertising, high-profile ambassador activities, website promotion and more.

Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said: “With the rise and rise of netball in Australia and the healthy connection between apples and sport, this partnership makes perfect sense.

“Industry is very excited about this new venture, which is timely given the breadth of participation in netball across the nation and the increasing profile of women’s sport in Australia.”

According to Netball Australia, 1.2 million people play netball in Australia, and a further 250,000 people attend games each year – a number set to grow, with Suncorp Super Netball beginning to air on prime-time TV in February (and also on Telstra TV and the free Netball Live App).

The sponsorship will of course include Aussie Apples being promoted at the matches of the premier players, the Australian Diamonds. This powerhouse team has won 11 out of 13 World Championships, has three Commonwealth Games gold medals, and shows no sign of slowing. The Diamonds are dominating the world circuit with a recent victory in the Quad Series title in England.

Netball Australia Acting CEO Marne Fechner said the partnership is a natural fit.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) through the Aussie Apples brand. In this next evolution for netball, we have been seeking to create partnerships with brands who align with our values and vision.

“With its focus on healthy nutrition, and interest in supporting Australia’s leading women’s sport from the grassroots to the elite, we couldn’t be happier in welcoming Horticulture Innovation Australia to netball.”

The new partnership marks the start of the 2017 Aussie Apples marketing campaign that Hort Innovation is rolling out in consultation with growers, using the industry’s marketing levy.