Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group has stepped in to become the major sponsor of the West Coast Fever just weeks after Gina Rinehart dropped a sponsorship deal with Netball Australia.
- West Coast Fever says it’s excited to be partnering with “values-driven” FMG
- It comes after Gina Rinehart dropped her company’s netball sponsorship
- FMG will also back a netball pathway program for Aboriginal people
Fever CEO Simone Hansen said the club was excited to welcome Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) as its new principle partner.
“Our club has a long association with the WA mining industry, and we are excited to be partnering with a values-driven company like Fortescue,” she said.
Last month Gina Rinehart withdrew Hancock Prospecting’s $15 million partnership with Netball Australia after a controversy over a logo on the Diamonds uniform.
In a further blow to netball in WA, Ms Rinehart announced Hancock Prospecting subsidiary Roy Hill would also be pulling out of a $2 million deal with Netball WA and the Fever, the 2022 Super Netball premiers.
As part of the partnership, the Fever were set to receive $500,000 a year for four years, money that was going to be spent on high-performance systems and the players.
The dumping of the contracts came after Indigenous Diamonds player Donnell Wallam expressed concerns about wearing the Hancock logo on her dress due to offensive comments made by the company’s founder, Lang Hancock.
Ms Hansen said under the terms of the partnership with FMG, Fortescue would also support Netball WA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Participation and Pathway program.
FMG director and global ambassador Elizabeth Gaines said it was Fortescue’s vision that communities they operated in benefited from their success.
“As Australia’s most popular female team sport, we are extremely excited about the future of netball in WA, and we’re pleased this partnership will help ensure the sport continues to thrive,” she said.