Australia's apple farmers are excited to announce a six-figure sponsorship dedicated to improving the health of Australia's netballers following the start of the new-look National Netball League.
Encouraging Australians to 'Get your crunch on', the $600,000, three-year sponsorship deal is the first of its kind for Australian apple growers, as they look to further grow their presence in the healthy snacking category.
Under the brand Aussie Apples, which is managed by Horticulture Innovation Australia on behalf of the nation's growers, the sponsorship includes high profile brand exposure at international and national netball games. It also includes access to Netball Australia's prime-time, free-to-air television broadcast, player promotion and significantly, the development of a grassroots healthy eating program, 'Fresh Step'.
The sponsorship will also see Aussie Apples deliver apples to netball carnivals and professional games across the country throughout the 2017 season, bringing Aussie Apples to the more than 324,00 young Australians who play netball.
"Our sponsorship of Netball Australia presents huge opportunities for exposure and penetration for the Australian apple industry," said Horticulture Innovation Australia Marketing General Manager, David Moore.
"Apples are the ultimate healthy snack and we're excited to work closely with Netball Australia to develop the Fresh Step healthy eating program, which will be rolled out through the 1.2 million Australians who play netball.
Netball Australia Acting CEO, Marne Fechner, says the sporting body is equally excited to have the Aussie Apples alongside them as it continues to build its high performance, commercial and grassroots programs.
"We're delighted to be partnering with Horticulture Innovation Australia through the Aussie Apples brand. In this next evolution for netball, we have been seeking to create partnerships with brands who align with our values and vision," said Ms Fechner.
"With its focus on healthy nutrition, and interest in supporting Australia's leading women's sport from the grassroots to the elite, we couldn't be happier in welcoming HIA and apples to netball."
Apples are currently the number four energy snack choice among Australians, down two places behind bananas, potato chips and chocolate bars since 2014/15. The Aussie Apples three-year marketing program aims to make apples the number one energy snack choice.
"We want all Australians to get their crunch on," said Mr Moore.