Mazda has signed on as Principal Sponsor of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) team, the Sydney Thunder, making it the first sponsor in Australia to back a men’s and women’s T20 team.
Thunder captain Alex Blackwell is on the right, fast bowler Rene Farrell on the left
Principal Sponsor of the men’s Big Bash League (BBL) team since 2014, the Sydney Thunder won BBL5 when it defeated the Melbourne Stars at the MCG last January.
That same day, the Thunder’s women’s team won the inaugural WBBL series, beating Sydney rivals, the Sixers, by three wickets. It was the first time a single BBL franchise had won both the men’s and women’s competition in the same season.
With the women’s team’s top tier sponsorship available, Mazda jumped at the opportunity to expand its Cricket interests and make BBL sponsorship history at the same time.
“Mazda is extremely proud to be the first corporate in Australia to sponsor both a men’s and women’s Big Bash League team,” said Mazda Australia’s NSW state manager Daniel Morris.
“Interest in women’s cricket has never been higher thanks to the success of last year’s WBBL season – one that attracted great crowds at ground and a very strong television audience.
“As Principal Sponsor of the Sydney Thunder women’s team, we look forward to adding to this interest by promoting the team, and women’s cricket, via a range of marketing activations within the community.
“Big Bash Cricket is arguably the most entertaining sport in the country, and as reigning champion in both competitions, we – like all Sydney Thunder fans – look forward to another big T20 season.”
Sydney Thunder general manager Nick Cummins was excited to welcome Mazda to the women’s team.
“We’d like to recognise Mazda for their proactivity in embracing our “one club” philosophy and becoming our new WBBL Principal Sponsor,” said Cummins.
“It is a fantastic vote of confidence for the club to have a leading global brand as our number one supporter.”
Also announced today was the high profile Sydney Thunder re-signings of Australian vice-captain Alex Blackwell and Southern Stars fast bowler Rene Farrell, for another year.
“I’m thrilled with how well the WBBL01 turned out for us, we were really excited about starting something new,” said Blackwell, who will continue her role as captain.
“The thing that excited me most was seeing young kids, especially young boys, coming up and getting an autograph or having a picture with us because they saw us wearing green and playing for the team they already supported.
“We are one club and two teams, and we take that very seriously, the fact that our sponsors have got on board with that is really impressive.”
The Sydney Thunder women’s team starts its WBBL title defence against the Melbourne Stars at North Sydney Oval on December 10. It will also be broadcast live on Network Ten.