Virgin Australia today announced a new five-year agreement with the AFL, extending the partnership until 2018.
As the official airline of the AFL since January 2011, Virgin Australia carries the 18 AFL teams,including the standard travelling party of 60 players, staff and officials, across Australia and overseas.
Today’s agreement will see the partnership reach new heights, with Virgin Australia becoming Naming Rights Partner of the AFL Grand Final Half Time entertainment, the Premiership Party and the Grand Final Week Party, as well as the innovative “Any Game, Anywhere” platform, which provides AFL fans with tailored packages for Virgin Australia airfares, match tickets and accommodation.
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti said the partnership had gone from strength to strength since its launch almost three years ago.
“It is a great honour to be the official airline of Australia’s most popular sport, especially during such an exciting period of growth and expansion for the game.
“Over the past three years, we have carried AFL teams on over 450 flights, provided tens of thousands of extra seats to support fans attending finals matches and launched innovative initiatives to promote the sport and reward its fans.
“The AFL players are some of the most frequent flyers in the country and it is therefore a huge vote of confidence in Virgin Australia that they were keen to extend our partnership.
“We look forward to continuing to provide the AFL with the best possible travel experience and working together to support its large Australian fan base”, Mr Borghetti said.
AFL Chief Executive Officer Andrew Demetriou said: “There’s no question the AFL and the broader Australian football community has benefitted enormously from the partnership we’ve enjoyed with Virgin Australia since 2011.
“We’re delighted that partnership has been extended for a further five year period which illustrates the commitment from both organisations and the value we place in Virgin Australia as a key partner.
“Virgin Australia joined the AFL at a period when our national footprint was expanding significantly through the introduction of the Gold Coast SUNS and the Greater Western Sydney GIANTS. During that time Virgin has been responsible for carrying thousands of AFL fans and club personnel to all corners of the country by way of their extensive network.
“Throughout the 2013 Toyota AFL Finals Series, Virgin Australia has also provided tens of thousands of extra seats to support AFL fans attending finals matches. They have raised the level of service for our supporters and our clubs and continue to bolster the football-related travel and tourism sector throughout the country.
"We thank John Borghetti and Virgin Australia and we look forward to their ongoing support as they continue to play a key role in the growth of the game”, Mr Demetriou said.
Virgin Australia will have a significant presence during Grand Final week starting with the Virgin Australia Grand Final Week Party on Wednesday September 25. On Grand Final day Virgin is the naming sponsor of the Virgin Australia Half-Time Show, featuring iconic Australian band Hunters & Collectors, and the Virgin Australia Premiership Party, the free fan post-match party at the MCG featuring both Hunters & Collectors and Birds of Tokyo.For further information visit http://www.afl.com.au/greatness/premiership-party.
Virgin Australia has also been a driving force behind Any Game Anywhere – the AFL’s ground breaking travel service that enables football fans to tailor travel packages for Virgin Australia airfares, match tickets and accommodation. For further details regarding Any Game Anywhere, visit http://www.anygameanywhere.com.au/.
Virgin Australia’s connection to Australia’s game has this year seen the launch of an online film festival, the Virgin Australia Film Festival, showcasing AFL clubs going the ‘Extra Mile’. Each club’s entry can be viewed by visiting www.facebook.com/virginaustralia.