Automotive brands missing out as two AFL clubs with car-buying fans remain sponsor-free

Car brands are missing out on potentially lucrative deals with two AFL clubs whose supporters are among the most likely to buy a new vehicle, new research has shown.


New car buying intentions among AFL Club Supporters

While 14 of the 18 AFL clubs have partnerships with car firms, Greater Western Sydney Giants and St Kilda are without sponsorship deals even though many of their fans are in the market for a new car.

In Roy Morgan’s annual study of the car buying intentions of AFL fans, 17% of Carlton and St Kilda followers are looking to replace their vehicles. But while Carlton works with Hyundai, the Saints are care-free despite their fans making the top eight in the intention ladder for the past eight years.

GWS meanwhile also also have no car sponsorship even though 16% of their fans want to drive a new motor.

Roy Morgan Research industry director of automotive, Jordan Pakes, said car brands are missing out, with Mitsubishi and Land Rover in particular missing a trick.

“There are currently about 170,000 new car buyers in greater Western Sydney, the home of the Giants, and are one of four AFL clubs without a car sponsor,” he said. “Mitsubishi and Land Rover would be potential good fit for the club, with car buyers in Sydney’s west particularly keen on these makes, neither of which currently sponsor an AFL team.”

Mitsubishi has the most footy-mad market overall, the study said, with 62% of people who intend to buy a new Mitsubishi supporting an AFL team, compared with 45% of all new car buyers.

“Holden, which already sponsors the Magpies, is also one of the top makes of choice around the Giants’ home turf,” Pakes said. “The brand might consider joining Toyota and Hyundai as a sponsor of multiple clubs in different states.

“When considering potential sport sponsorship deals, car makers would do well to ensure there is a natural alignment between the clubs’ fans and their target markets. With many deals lasting for years, even decades, sponsors must then develop metrics to monitor benefits and maximise every opportunity to turn fans into customers.”


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