The partnership between Ford Australia and the Geelong Cats will continue, with the car giant and the Cats agreeing to a formal extension of the arrangement until the end of 2020.
These two icons of their respective industries first teamed up in 1925, and the partnership has continued uninterrupted, making it the longest running sponsorship in world sport. By the time the new contract falls due for further extension, the Cats and Ford will have been together for 95 years.
Geelong CEO Brian Cook has been at the helm of the Cats through 17 years of the partnership with Ford. Cook is thrilled that the longest running partnership in sports will continue uninterrupted.
“Ford and the Cats have supported each other over this long journey together,” Cook said.
“We both believe we will continue to be at the forefront of our fields in future years, and we will help each other achieve that success.
“The Cats will continue to seek further premierships and Ford will continue to provide high quality motor vehicles and support to Australian motorists.
“There is, and has been, no more enduring relationship and a greater team than Ford Motor Company and the Cats since 1925. Both parties share similar values and we are proud to carry the Ford name on our playing jumper.”
Ford is also proud to continue its longstanding and ground breaking relationship with the Cats.
“Soon after Ford put the world on wheels, Ford of Australia pioneered sports marketing when we forged a partnership with the Geelong Cats in 1925 by first offering jobs for the players at our new local operations,” said Graeme Whickman, Ford of Australia President and CEO.
“The sponsorship extension symbolises our ongoing investment in Australia and Geelong, including our advanced Research and Development Centre in Geelong and You Yangs Proving Grounds near the city that are part of $300 million in R&D investment this year alone.”
To place the longevity of the partnership into perspective, Australia’s population in 1925 was less than six million, and Geelong won its first VFL premiership at the expense of Collingwood.
The coalition between the Nationalist Party of Australia led by prime minister Stanley Bruce and the Country Party won the federal election over the Australian Labour Party.
Well known Australians born that year includes Ruth Cracknell, Shirley Strickland, Don Chipp and Sir Anthony Mason. Future Geelong players Syd Tate (1951 premiership), Jim Brown, Alan Hickinbotham, Gerard Barrett, Frank Pike, Brian Wilson, Ian Brown, Leo O’Halloran and Alan Elliott were born.
The Cats’ deal punctuates a big year for Ford after launching a record number of vehicles as part of its commitment to refresh its entire vehicle line-up in Australia by 2017, and launch 20 new or freshened vehicles by 2020.
The recently launched new vehicles include:
·         2015 Ford Mondeo:  The all-new, stylish and technologically advanced Mondeo mid-size sedan arrives early in 2015. The new Mondeo will feature at least 10 advanced features not available on the Camry, including a diesel model that will be more fuel efficient than Camry Hybrid.
·         2015 Ford Kuga:  The newly launched Ford Kuga will be freshened in early 2015 with a new 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine on its high series models offering 30 per cent more power than Toyota’s RAV-4 with comparable fuel economy.
·         2015 Ford Everest:  The Australian designed and engineered Everest is a technologically advanced, stunningly capable and refined seven-seat SUV that will be launched in 2015.
·         2015 Ford Ranger:  A freshened version of the tough, capable and Australian-created Ranger will arrive in 2015 to build on its momentum after cutting Toyota Hilux’s sales lead by 38 per cent since 2011.
·         2015 Ford Mustang: A legend for its performance and style, the Mustang stays true to its high performance pedigree with a 5.0L V8 engine, as well as an all-new turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost engine variant. Along with its iconic design, the pony car features a powerful suite of tech features including the SYNC voice-activated communication system and push button start.