The Adelaide Football Club and leading global resources company BHP have today announced they are joining forces in a major partnership which will support the Crows AFL Women’s team for the next three years.
Following the success of the Crows in the inaugural season of the AFL Women’s Competition, BHP – through its South Australian Olympic Dam operation – will support the team for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 AFLW seasons.
The community-focused partnership will also see BHP work collaboratively with the Crows to support the Club’s ability to provide grassroots and pathway development programs for young women and Indigenous people in regional areas.
Crows CEO Andrew Fagan said the Club was proud to be working with BHP to support the growth of women’s football.
"It's been a phenomenal 12 months. A little over a year ago we were lobbying the AFL to be a part of the inaugural AFLW season and fielding questions about whether the team would be a drain on Club resources,” Fagan said.
“We have since played to packed venues, won the Premiership, encouraged thousands of young girls to take up our great game and now we have entered into a long-term partnership with one of Australia's biggest companies.
"This is a significant milestone not only for our Club but for the AFLW more broadly.
“BHP is a global business with a 3,000-strong workforce in South Australia and a strong focus on inclusion and diversity so we see this as a great fit for the Club and the competition.
“Support from major companies such as BHP is fundamental to the continued growth of women’s football. This partnership is about much more than just support for our team, it provides a broader base for us to work together to continue to develop the game in communities across Australia’s central corridor.
“It will also enable unique opportunities for fans, employees and participants. We’re keen to work together and learn from one another to continue to develop and grow our people, particularly in relation to identifying and increasing female participation across our respective fields.
“As SA and the Northern Territory’s sole representative in this league, we have a unique opportunity and our aim is to make the Crows the club of choice for women and girls, whether as participants, administrators or fans.”
BHP Olympic Dam Asset President Jacqui McGill said the partnership was about the company doing everything possible to provide more opportunities for women.
“At BHP, from the CEO down, we believe there is no job a woman can’t do – and similarly, no sport they can’t play. We want young girls to be able to look to their heroes in any field – whether this be an Asset President at Olympic Dam or Captain of the Crows – and think ‘I can do that’,” said McGill.
“That’s why we’re incredibly excited to partner with the Crows AFLW team. And we look forward to working with them in communities right across SA, to help develop pathways for young people from a grassroots level so we can continue building female participation in our respective fields.
“The AFLW has already been so inspiring and empowering, particularly with the Crows AFLW team’s incredible win in the inaugural season, and we’re proud to offer our support to help take this to the next level.”
As co-major partner, the BHP logo will be seen prominently on the back of the women’s team guernsey as well as across match-day activations, member offers and experiences, and other events and branding.
The Crows AFLW team is in partnership with AFLNT, with players based in Adelaide and Darwin. Pre-season commences in November ahead of the 2018 competition.