The Australian Football League today announced the Cotton On Group as the official apparel partner and New Era as the official headwear partner for the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Competition launching in February 2017.
The Cotton On Group’s partnership with the AFL will be brought to life through its high-performance sportswear category COAR, marking an exciting collaboration between two of Australia’s most-recognisable businesses in the lead up to the first season of the NAB AFL Women’s Competition.
AFL General Manager Commercial Operations Darren Birch said the launch of the apparel for the 2017 NAB AFL Women’s Competition was another milestone lead up to the first matches next year.
“We are entering a new and exciting stage in Australian sport and we needed an apparel supplier that represented and understood the needs of our new group of elite athletes and shared the AFL’s core values,” Mr Birch said.
“The Cotton On Group is an iconic global retailer that Australians know and trust.
“Like the AFL, its roots are innately Australian, it embraces innovation and prides itself on being ahead of the curve.
“This new partnership was a natural fit and we are delighted to be working together to bring a contemporary uniform for the emerging league.
Developed in partnership with a working group of AFLW star players including Daisy Pearce, Lauren Arnell and Aasta O’Connor, the COAR apparel has been created by women for women, with the fit specifically designed to complement the female form and enhance player performance.
“2017 heralds a new chapter in Australian Football and we didn’t just want to replicate the men’s uniform. It was important that we created a product the players felt authentically represented them on and off the field,” he said.
Cotton On Group Chief Executive Peter Johnson said, “The AFL is an elite sporting code but is also a leader in the community and a powerful force for change.”
“We are extremely proud and excited to be working with the NAB AFL Women’s Competition to develop contemporary, innovative, technical apparel for the players and supporters of the new competition."
“At the Cotton On Group, 77 per cent of our 20,000 team members around the globe are women, while a similar percentage of our customers are women and young girls, so the decision to support this competition was a simple one for us.”
“We are really excited about the opportunity this partnership creates for our team, our customers and all supporters of the AFL,” he said.
Internationally renowned sports brand New Era joins the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Competition as the official headwear partner in 2017.
New Era is the leader in its field and boasts longstanding partnerships with the major sports leagues around the globe.
“New Era is an internationally recognised organisation and to have this calibre of headwear supplier support us with the league is fantastic,” Mr Birch added.
Simon Hibbs, GM of New Era Australia said: "We are excited to be a key partner of the AFL and their expansion into the women’s game. For the first time New Era will be official On Field partner for all eight teams, bringing the best headwear in the world to both players and fans.”
Since the announcement of the eight teams that will compete in the inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Competition in 2017, there has been unprecedented media coverage and fan groundswell around this historic sporting moment.
The inaugural NAB AFL Women’s Competition commences in early 2017.