Free Subscription

  • Access 15 free news articles each month


Try one month for $7
  • Unlimited access to news,insights and opinions
  • Quarterly and weekly magazines
  • Independent research reports and forecasts
  • Quarterly webinars with industry experts
  • Q&A with retail leaders
  • Career advice
  • 10% discount on events

Cars and AFL: a match made in sponsorship heaven?


afl, footballWith Toyota as the AFL’s premier partner, and the majority of its teams being sponsored by car brands, are footy fans any likelier than the average Australian to be in the market for a new car?

As of January 2014, more than 2.3 million Australians over 14 years old were intending to buy a new car in the next years fours, with almost half of them AFL supporters, according to research by Roy Morgan.

This figure represents a significant amount of the population aged over 14 (13.9 per cent) being exposed to automotive sponsors.

Jordan Pakes, group account director, automotive at Roy Morgan Research, says sponsorship of sporting teams is one of the many ways brands look to either raise or maintain awareness and attempt to engage potential or current consumers.

“Auto brands pay big money for AFL sponsorship, and not surprisingly, they are after maximum ROI for their investment,” Pakes said.

“Some teams have a higher proportion of new car intenders among their supporter base than others, so provided there is a sensible fit between the brand and supporters, this should be a good thing from a new sales perspective.

“For brands looking to sponsor a club, understanding what kind of people make up the different supporter bases is crucial. Two high profile teams without an auto brand sponsor are Hawthorn and Fremantle. When looking at the Helix Personas profile of both teams’ supporter bases, progressive thinkers (Persona 109) feature prominently on both lists, accounting for close to 10 per cent of Fremantle’s total supporters.

“Progressive thinkers are almost 20 per cent more likely than the average Australian to be in the market for a new car over the next four years. In terms of which brands they’re after (and which brands don’t currently sponsor a team), Subaru and BMW would be a potentially strong fit.”

Sydney Swans, sponsored by Volkswagen, has the highest fan base in the country, with more than one million supporters, but according to Roy Morgan, only around 16 per cent of Sydney Swans followers are planning to buy a new car in the next four years.

Melbourne Demons may have fewer supporters (182,000) than most AFL teams, but it tops the list for the highest proportion of supporters (21.5 per cent) in the market for a new car – 76 per cent more likely than the average Australian.

Proportion of each AFL team’s supporters who intend to buy a new car in next four years



Other teams with supporters who outstrip the national average in terms of new car purchasing intentions are Richmond (sponsored by Jeep and 40 per cent more likely), Geelong (sponsored by Ford and 26 per cent more likely), and Brisbane (sponsored by Hyundai and 38 per cent more likely).

Although fans of Greater Western Sydney and Western Bulldogs are 21 per cent and 16 per cent respectively more likely than the average Australian to be new car intenders, neither team currently has an automotive sponsor.

You have 7 free articles.