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Netball Australia parts ways with ANZ

AAP logoAAP 7/09/2016 Scott Bailey

Netball Australia has ended its longstanding sponsorship partnership with the ANZ Bank.

ANZ had been the sport's major sponsor in the country for the past nine years, having held naming rights to the trans-Tasman netball championship since its inception.

However with the competition coming to an end, Netball Australia is expected to announce a new sponsor within the next month as it aims to move towards a new image and business portfolio with the launch of the Australian League in 2017.

"There were many decisions that the board debated and not just around commercial elements," Netball Australia's deputy chief executive Marne Fechner said.

Netball has grown in the past nine years to become a semi-professional league with free-to-air broadcast rights with the Nine Network.

However that success may have been to ANZ's detriment as it introduced new key stakeholders and an Australian-centric vision for the sport.

"It's really important to acknowledge what ANZ have done to get the sport to where we are now," Fechner said.

"Because if they weren't involved and this partnership didn't exist I dare say we wouldn't be making this move to a brand new world."

The bank is believed to have been surprised by Netball Australia's decision to reject its offer.

The organisation has provided more than $650,000 in support and equipment to local clubs throughout their nine-year tenure, while staff volunteered at every trans-Tasman match, totally 7750 hours.

Their backing of the competition was also the largest women's sports sponsorship across Australasia.

"While we're disappointed that after nine years our partnership with Netball Australia has come to an end, were very proud of the role we've played in lifting the profile and participation of netball in Australia and wish the players all the very best for upcoming 2017 season," said ANZ's head of marketing in Australia, Carolyn Bendall.

The sponsorship deal will expire at the end of this year's Constellation Cup between Australia and New Zealand.

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