The City of Ballarat, with the support of the Western Bulldogs, today announced the partnership, which will see Mars Stadium (formerly Eureka Stadium) host the first AFL game for premiership points when the Bulldogs play Port Adelaide in Round 22 on Saturday, August 19.
Thanks to the support of the State Government, the stadium has recently undergone a $21.976 million redevelopment, which is nearing completion.
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh said it was wonderful to welcome Mars on board as we move a step closer to hosting our first AFL match on 19 August.
“It’s incredibly fitting for Mars to be involved in this significant project for our city. Ballarat has been home to Mars for almost 40 years and they are one of our city’s biggest employers.
“We look forward to working closely with Mars over the coming years and to seeing Mars Stadium take its place as one of Australia’s major sporting precincts.”
Western Bulldogs CEO Gary Kent said that the Club is thrilled, along with the City of Ballarat, to welcome Mars as the naming rights partner of the Ballarat stadium for the next five years.
“Mars is an iconic local and international brand and we couldn’t be prouder to be associated with such a great organisation, one that is an incredible local employer and synonymous with Ballarat,” he said.
“Mars has long been a great supporter of sport in both regional and metro areas, and has a strong alliance with the AFL, which now extends to the City of Ballarat and the Western Bulldogs.”
Mars Chocolate Australia General Manager Andrew Loader said “We’re excited to be announcing this great partnership, as MARS® and the Stadium are two icons of Ballarat. For us to be able to name it the MARS® Stadium over the next five years is as good as it gets.
“We’re equally delighted to be working with the Western Bulldogs to develop opportunities and drive excitement for Ballarat residents to attend games.”
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said it marked another exciting stage in bringing AFL games to the heart of Ballarat.
"We've invested more than $38m in Eureka precinct to make sure Ballarat can become the sporting capital of regional Victoria".
Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren congratulated Mars Chocolate Australia and said the redevelopment of the stadium is set to attract thousands of visitors to the region and provide economic benefits far beyond the footy field.
“We’re proud to be bringing AFL footy and our reigning premiers to Ballarat. With new lights, more seats and a big screen, the stage is almost set.”
“Visitors from across the state and border will flock right here to Ballarat and enjoy all that Mars Stadium has to offer – and that means more jobs and a stronger local economy.”
The partnership will see the Mars logo appear as the naming rights partner of the stadium 365 days a year as well as having a strong branding presence around the stadium.
Mars and the Western Bulldogs will separately work together on inner sanctum experiences each year around matches in Ballarat.
First published on www.westernbulldogs.com.au on 30th June