The JCU Townsville Fire has extended their long-term relationship with Queensland Country Health Fund for a further two seasons.
Established in 1977 as the MIM Employees’ Health Society, Queensland Country Health Fund is the only health fund based in regional Queensland and has been a long-term supporter of the Fire.
As part of the deal, Queensland Country, in addition to their naming rights partnership of the club’s Academy program, will also serve as the Official Player Sponsor of Fire captain Suzy Batkovic.
Earlier today, Batkovic, the five-time WNBL MVP, inked a contract extension with the Fire and will once again lead their championship hopes next season.
“Queensland Country Health Fund is proud to be continuing our support of the JCU Townsville Fire as the Official Health Fund Partner and incredibly excited to be extending that support next season to include our player sponsorship of Suzy Batkovic,” Queensland Country Health Fund Manager Ros Miles said.
“Suzy is a strong part of this community and a great ambassador for active living. We are proud to have played a part in continuing her relationship with the JCU Townsville Fire and the wider community.”
Over the years, Queensland Country Health Fund has played a critical role in the Fire’s development – on and off the court – through their on-going support.
As naming rights partner of the club’s Academy, Queensland Country Health Fund has seen the likes of Haylee Andrews, Emma McKenzie and Ainsley Walsh advance through to the WNBL, with the latter participating in the Fire’s 2015/16 championship.
Fire General Manager Richard Goodbody said the club was delighted to have extended their relationship with Queensland Country.
“Queensland Country Health Fund has played a pivotal role in establishing the Fire as a WNBL powerhouse,” Goodbody said.
“We pride ourselves on supplying positive, healthy, female role models to the North Queensland community and it’s through the support of our corporate partners, who allow us to make a difference to the region that we work, live and play in.
“The extension of the partnership to include Suzy – as well as our Academy – ensures that Queensland Country Health Fund is supporting our championship ambitions from start to finish.”
Queensland Country’s re-signing follows hot on the heels of Mike Carney Toyota’s two-year extension, while Principal Partner, James Cook University, has a further two years to run on their naming rights deal.
Independent media analysis from iSentia confirms the Fire was able to attract more than $9 million in media equivalency during the 2016/17 WNBL season, with the North Queensland club now looking to fill a vacancy on their playing and training singlet.
With the WNBL rumoured to be returning to TV next season, the Fire believe they will be able to ramp up their commercial activity after leading the league in attendances and membership, as well as TV audiences during the ABC’s final season as a broadcaster.