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Netball Australia sponsorship Q&A with Hort Innovation

As we head into the 2018 season, APAL spoke to Hort Innovation about this year’s plans for the Netball Australia sponsorship – its flagship activity of the industry’s levy-funded marketing program –and what growers have to look forward to.

Industry Services Manager, Will Gordon, accepts two of the Parents’ Voice Fame and Shame Awards on behalf of Aussie Apples.

How long will the netball sponsorship run and how do you hope it will develop and change over time?

2018 will be year two of a lucrative three-year partnership with Netball Australia. Over time, we hope to cement the link between Aussie Apples and kids in sport in the same way Auskick has achieved with the AFL.

In year one of the partnership, Aussie Apples won two of the 2017 Parents’ Voice Fame and Shame Awards. This included the Parents’ Choice Award for Food for the Aussie Apples’ Get Your Crunch On campaign in recognition of the advertisement showing apples being picked from trees and placed in lunchboxes for school kids who consume the fruit in the company of active dancers and netballers. The other award was the Parents’ Choice Award for Physical Activity for promoting physical activity to children through the Netball Australia partnership. These Parents’ Voice Fame and Shame Awards raise awareness of the marketing techniques the food industry uses to promote unhealthy foods and drinks to children and recognises the campaigns that promote healthy food and activity to children in a fun and appealing way.

How have you leveraged this sponsorship to add value to the apple marketing dollar?

Aussie Apples has fully leveraged the Netball Australia sponsorship from a grassroots level, such as through the supply of Aussie Apples at Netball Victoria clinics in September 2017, through to the elite level, with Aussie Apples activity at the Fast5 Netball World Series in October.

What will be Woolworths’ involvement in 2018 and how do you hope this will affect the campaign?

Hort Innovation is delighted that Woolworths has come on board as a partner to Netball Australia. With Woolworths’ focus on fresh food and the community, there is a natural alignment between Aussie Apples, Woolworths and Netball Australia.

Hort Innovation is currently collaborating with Woolworths to find ways to leverage the partnership and increase fresh and healthy eating in the community.

What can growers look forward to in 2018 as the campaign further develops?

After the successful broadcast of the Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final on the Nine Network’s main Channel Nine in primetime to a peak audience of just under 700,000, the network will be pushing netball even harder in 2018. This year two games per round will air every week on its free main channel from April to August, meaning Aussie Apples will be able to reach a larger mainstream audience in more family-friendly timeslots.

If growers want to support the netball sponsorship directly are there any opportunities for them to do so?

The Aussie Apples website now has a grower portal where growers can find out how to get involved in the Netball Australia sponsorship as well as access Aussie Apples assets and find the latest media releases. Register at for access.


These industry marketing initiatives are managed by Hort Innovation and are funded by the apple and pear marketing levy. This content has been prepared by the Hort Innovation apple and pear team, with growers welcome to contact Relationship Manager Mark Spees (, 0439 574 173) with any questions relating to the program or levy-funded R&D.

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