The Socceroos have a new naming rights partner in sight as they return to action in Kuwait after more than an 18-month absence.
Australia face four World Cup qualifiers over the span of 12 days in early June and enter the pitch without a naming rights sponsor after their last relationship with Caltex ends.
Green and gold had been linked with Caltex since 2016, but that partnership ended in early 2020 with COVID-19, seeing the Socceroos wait to find a replacement.
Ahead of their return to the pitch, Football Australia CEO James Johnson confirmed that a new naming rights partner was high on their agenda after they recently struck a deal with the Commonwealth Bank for the Matildas.
“So we went really strong with Matildas. I think you can see that all of our communication on our social media, we really tried to promote the Matildas during COVID and naturally there was an opportunity there because of the Cup of the female world and I think we did a good job doing this, ”Johnson said.
“We are now at a stage where the Matildas have started to play and now we are trying to get the Socceroos and the Olyroos to play and they will start in June and naturally you will see a broadening if you want our marketing and we are going to go strong on them. Socceroos.
“So that’s our priority now in terms of naming rights – it will be the Socceroos.”
Some fans have criticized the Socceroos’ partnership with Caltex and Johnson stressed that he is looking for more than money when it comes to sponsorships moving forward.
“Partnerships are absolutely essential. It’s not just how I view referrals, it’s not just about trying to make money,” he said.
“It’s about creating a good alignment on values and I think in the case of Rebel, Priceline and Commonwealth Bank, they believe in our vision, they believe in our values.
“We have talked a lot about repositioning the sport, with a strong emphasis on women’s football, on the Matildas, because that’s where our big growth corridor is in terms of the number of participations in women’s football.
“Truly creating that strong connection between the historic brand strength of the Socceroos, the emerging brand strength of the Matildas and this large, multicultural and diverse community of footballers that we have – and these organizations have subscribed to it.”
The Socceroos play their first game since November 2019 when they face Kuwait on June 4 (AEST).