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03 May 2014 Posted by 


Major sponsor offers more than just dollars

By Anthony Stavrinos

NRMA Insurance’s decision to become Western Sydney Wanderer’s first naming rights/major sponsor in a three year deal, will go down in history as a marketing masterstroke.

Not only did circumstances allow NRMA Insurance to strike a great deal financially, but the opportunities have been enhanced by the Wanderers remarkable performance on the field, reaching the A-League’s Grand Final on each of its first two years of existence.

But from the outset, NRMA Insurance has delivered more than just sponsorship dollars for the Wanderers, it has carefully and thoughtfully aligned its activation strategy with the goals the club set out to achieve from its launch.

The phenomenal success of the Wanderers was celebrated by NRMA Insurance recently with a special advertising placement on The Guardian (Australia) website, featuring an infographic depicting growth in various numbers linked to the club’s popularity and on-field achievements. See:

NRMA Insurance’s corporate messaging has rarely missed an opportunity to engage the Wanderers supporter base.

“Everyone at NRMA Insurance hopes that Western Sydney Wanderers FC bring it home again. #WeSingForWanderers,” it announced in a social media post on the day The Wanderers met Central Coast Mariners at Pirtek (Parramatta) Stadium in the A-League Semi-Final.

Accompanying it was a graphic block with the words: “Another year. Another semi-final. Good luck Wanderers. Bring it home” and a red and black Wanderers-branded ball.

The ball features the words “Bringing your football back”, the name of the NRMA Insurance campaign launched in the Wanderer’s inaugural season.

“NRMA Insurance took on its first major commercial sponsorship in NSW with A-League new boys, the Western Sydney Wanderers,” explains NRMA Insurance’s advertising agency, M&C Saatchi (Sport  & .Entertainment).

“With the club built on strong foundations in the Western Sydney community, NRMA Insurance wanted to leverage their partnership to grow their brand at a grass roots level in the inaugural year of the sponsorship.”

The agency says NRMA Insurance is intrinsically linked in Western Sydney with a large portion of both its staff and customers based in the region.

It adds that Western Sydney is the cultural home of Australian football – but it has been starved of a team for more a decade.

“NRMA Insurance set about helping to bring football back to Western Sydney – reaching out to a vibrant football fan base and passionate local community,” it says.

NRMA Insurance launched its “Bringing Your Football Back” campaign to coincide with club’s inaugural season, outlining its initiatives on dedicated microsite –

“NRMA Insurance is bringing football back to Western Sydney – in a big way,” the company says on the microsite.

“We're supporting grassroots football with our 'Your Football' Community Grants program.

“We're handing out free Wanderers footballs with our Ball Amnesty. And we're giving away match day seats in our VIP dugout. There's plenty to get pumped about.”

M&C Saatchi reported at the end of the Wanderers’ debut season that in conjunction with the campaign, NRMA Insurance had given away almost 2,000 individual prizes across fans, customers and staff.

The NRMA Insurance Ball Amnesty held 35 events which gave away 10,000 new soccer balls and donated a further 4,000 used balls to The Salvation Army’s Oasis Youth Foundation Sport Impact Programme.

No figures have yet been released for the second year of the campaign, although it would be reasonable to expect an increase on activity during 2012/13.

Among the Wanderers’ ‘Official Partners’ are Nike Australia, which signed a five year deal, should continue to enjoy strong sales of Wanderers merchandise, including the team strip, given the club’s exceptional on-field record.

At one stage last season, Nike had struggled to meet demand for jerseys, Nearly 40,000 have been sold since the club’s inception.

Westfield, another official partner, signed a two year deal and is up for renewal next season.

Its activity with the Wanderers included a team signing event at Westfield’s Parramatta shopping centre, attended by thousands of chanting fans and a ‘Play Football Day’ at its Penrith Centre.

Mitsubishi Electric, another major partner which signed a “multi year” deal with the Wanderers, without specifying how long that actually was, last year installed a new, state-of-the art high definition, 12.8m x 7.7m Diamond Vision LED screen at the Wanderers’ home ground, Parramatta Stadium.

“Community is one of our company guiding principles,” Mitsubishi Electric Australia Managing Director, Takeshi Shihonmatsu said when the deal was announced in August last year.

“The Wanderers embody this in the way in which they have galvanised Western Sydney in their debut season and their promotion of health, integration and youth participation in our region.”

In a notable recent sponsorship signing, the Wanderers signed packaging and recycling heavyweight Visy Industries as a partner in its 2014 Asian Champions League campaign for an estimated sum of $250,000.

The partnership will see the Visy logo feature on the front of the team’s shirts for the competition matches played abroad, but NRMA Insurance will remain as their front-of-shirt sponsor for home matches.

For the Wanderers’ A-League Grand Final appearance, the club announced a network venues would serve as “live sites” throughout Sydney’s western suburbs, for fans unable to attend the game in Brisbane.

The participating venues were: Club Marconi (Bossley Park), Albion Hotel (Parramatta), Penrith Panthers (Penrith), Roxy Hotel (Parramatta), Parramatta RSL (Parramatta) and Castle Hill RSL (Castle Hill). See details at:

Live sites:




Michael Walls
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