AFL Victoria is pleased to announce a new naming rights partner, with Hard Yakka and Totally Workwear (TWW) to join the Victorian Football League (VFL) as its major sponsors for the 2019 season.
The league will be called the Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL – focusing on an iconic Australian brand that is sold at all 13 Totally Workwear stores across Victoria.
The announcement of a new naming rights partner coincides with the release of the 2019 VFL fixture. The fixture features 15 teams, an increase in VFL / Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s and potential VFL / AFL double headers, more night matches and a return to revamped traditional grounds like Arden St and Moorabbin Oval.
AFL Victoria CEO Steven Reaper welcomed the new fixture and naming rights partnership, highlighting that with a strong tradie supporter base for the VFL, Hard Yakka and Totally Workwear align well with the competition.
“A VFL fan survey earlier this year revealed over one third of VFL fans are tradies, so to welcome a company like Totally Workwear – who are Australia’s largest supplier of workwear and safety gear, and are locally owned and operated – is a good fit,” Reaper said.
“Hard Yakka is a brand that will align well with our fans and players, and we welcome them to what will be an exciting year for the competition in 2019.”
Hard Yakka Head of Industrial Sales Craig Gordon said they were excited to announce their joint partnership with the VFL.
“This sponsorship sees two great Australian brands build on their strong relationship and join forces to proudly support another great Australian historic brand and institution in the VFL,” Gordon said.
“Hard Yakka and Totally Workwear recognise the importance of supporting our grassroots communities and are excited with this opportunity to extend this support to the extensive AFL Victoria network.
“Totally Workwear are locally owned and operated workwear stores that take pride in giving back to local clubs and organisations.
“Hard Yakka has a long-standing history of championing and protecting the real workers of Australia.”
After six curtain raiser games in 2018, the VFL will aim to increase its exposure to AFL fans in 2019 with the potential for more curtain raiser games at the MCG, MARVEL Stadium and GMHBA Stadium.
“We will continue to work with clubs and venues to finalise all curtain raiser games for 2019 and aim to announce these early in the new year,” Reaper said.
“A potential increase in curtain raiser games will allow football fans to arrive early and see some of the stars of the future, as well as providing great value for money for those supporters, with a shorter time gap between VFL and AFL games.
“For our VFL listed players, the potential exposure and experience of playing at elite AFL venues provides them with a preview of what could be, with many players hoping to emulate the likes of the 13 recent draftees/rookies from the competition, including Ben Cavarra, Nick Hind and Marty Hore, who have followed different pathways to make the AFL, but all developed their game at VFL level for a number of years.”
The new naming rights partner and fixture release coincides with the announcement of Channel 7 continuing its partnership for the VFL for another two years, with VFL coverage moving to Sundays in 2019.
“The Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL has the chance to be part of a Sunday football feast on Channel 7, with the VFL to follow Game Day and lead into the Sunday AFL coverage, providing fans wall-to-wall footy coverage,” Reaper said.
“Fans at home of a Sunday will be taken to traditional venues like North Port Oval, Windy Hill, Point Gellibrand, Coburg City Oval, Arden Street and Moorabbin Oval, as the coverage across the season is shared between all our alignment models in the competition.
“The network will also utilise the potential increase in AFL curtain raiser games in 2019 to broadcast a number of VFL games from the MCG and MARVEL Stadium, creating a host of broadcast double-header clashes between AFL/VFL aligned clubs.
“The coverage will begin with a blockbuster Round 1 clash – the Grand Final rematch between premiers Box Hill Hawks and Casey Demons.”
The 2019 VFL fixture highlights include:
- Two games under lights to begin the home-and-away season on Friday April 5: Footscray vs Sandringham (VU Whitten Oval) and Geelong vs Richmond (GMHBA Stadium), with four night games in Round 1 and seven for the season;
- 2018 VFL premiers the Box Hill Hawks facing the Casey Demons in the Grand Final rematch in Round 1 at Box Hill City Oval on Channel 7;
- Williamstown showing off the new lights at Point Gellibrand (Williamstown Football Ground) for the first time in a Round 1 night match against traditional rival Port Melbourne;
- Port Melbourne first appearing at its upgraded home ground of Adcon Stadium (North Port Oval) in Round 3 against 2018 elimination-final conquerors the Box Hill Hawks;
- North Melbourne playing four games at its traditional home base of Arden Street, the first of which will be against Richmond in Round 9;
- Sandringham playing one match at the newly revamped Moorabbin Oval against Frankston in Round 5, with a possible further clash at the venue against Werribee in Round 11;
- The season will again feature four CSR Strategy themed rounds, supporting beyondblue (Round 6), Fight MND (SockIt2MND Round 11), Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (Love the Game Round 13) and TAC (Towards Zero Round 18).
- Richmond again playing a home match at Holm Park in Beaconsfield against Coburg in Round 11; and
- 39 VFL games that form part of double-headers with Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s fixtures.
Following the announcement of a new naming rights partnership, Reaper thanked long-time partner Peter Jackson menswear for their support of the competition.
“We would like to thank Peter Jackson for their support of the competition over eight seasons.
“Since joining with the VFL in 2011, Peter Jackson menswear has grown to over 50 stores across five states and territories, so we thank them for their valued support for close to a decade.”
* CLICK HERE for the 2019 Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL fixture