News Ford renews sponsorship

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Down at K Park

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Ford Australia and the Geelong Football Club Make History: The World’s Longest Running Sporting Sponsorship Punts for its Centenary

Ahead of the 2021 AFLW and AFL season, Ford Australia and the Geelong Football Club have announced the next chapter of what is believed to be the longest sporting sponsorship in the world, with a historic signing today that will take the partnership to 100 years by 2025.

Ford Australia President and CEO Andrew Birkic and Geelong Football Club CEO Brian Cook signed the contract at the GMHBA Stadium, securing the deal for a further five years.

First signed in 1925, Ford and the Cats are believed to have the longest-running partnership in sporting history. This milestone demonstrates the long-lasting bond between the two Victoria-based organisations, and Ford’s ongoing commitment to Geelong, with its global research and development hub in Norlane, Geelong, the Ford YouYangs Proving Ground, and strong roots embedded across the community.

“If there’s one thing footy and Ford have in common, it’s the dedication and passion of their fans right throughout our histories,” said Andrew Birkic, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company, Australia and New Zealand.

“To put it into historical terms, Ford first signed on when we were making Model T and we’re still here with the Club as our Australian team works on advanced technology and engineers vehicles of the future. We’ve gone through nine Geelong Premierships, 18 Grand Finals, and 52 finals series together,” Birkic adds.

Following the upheaval of 2020, which saw the relocation of the AFL competition season and Ford Australia transfer most its team to work from home, resilience and mateship is yet another theme the Cats and Ford have in common.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the world, but one thing we can all count on is the ongoing successful partnership between the Geelong Football Club and Ford,” Geelong Football Club CEO Brian Cook said.

“As the club’s sole major sponsor, we are thankful for the support that Ford has given us over the past 95 years. We believe this is the most enduring partnership in sport, and we see this partnership surpassing the century,” says Brian.

A significant moment for Ford Australia, the milestone has made its way to Ford’s Michigan headquarters, with Executive Chairman Bill Ford sending his well wishes Down Under in a letter to the Club.

“Community and commitment are important values that guide us at Ford, and our 95 year partnership with the Geelong Football Club is testament to that commitment. Geelong has always been a very important place for Ford, with many of our 2,500 Australian designers, engineers and specialists calling it home, and our extensive proving ground and engineering facilities in the region.”

“I am thrilled to see what’s next with the Geelong Football Club, and look forward to continuing to build on our strong partnership. Go Cats!”

Today’s announcement, held at the Cats’ home ground, GMHBA Stadium, saw the official commemorative signing of the contract to take the sponsorship through to 100 years.

Flanked by Geelong superstars Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield, Meghan McDonald and Becky Webster, the signing was shared by Ford’s own showstoppers, the all-new Puma SUV and all-new Escape.

Ford’s long-standing commitment to the Geelong community is not just with its home club, but also the many retired and current employees from the region, many of whom are employed at Ford’s Research & Development Centre in Geelong and its Proving Ground in the YouYangs.

As part of Ford’s ongoing investment into Australian innovation and STEAM education, Ford Australia is also a close partner of Deakin University Waurn Ponds campus, funding in part the Ford Australia Women in STEAM Scholarship.

For more information on the Ford Australia and Geelong Football Club partnership, visit www.ford.com.au/about-ford/sponsorship/geelong-football-club
 

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dazbroncos

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Seriously great news. Good for the club financially and good for Ford and the region.

And whilst it counts for zero - its a good thing in goodwill too. To be known and associated as the worlds longest continuous sporting sponsorship adds novelty and notoriety to the club.

And any publicity is good publicity.... mostly...

GO Catters
 

Spearman

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I find it fascinating that not only is the sport itself is so old, and that one team has had the same sponsor for so long, but that that sponsor is a pioneering car company, AND that it was a subsidiary of a quintessential American company. ;)

Seriously, it is astounding. Anybody got a photo of the flagship model the first year of the sponsorship or of the first model loaned to a player gratis.:)
 

Down at K Park

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The same proving ground where they test all the imports to see why they wont work in Aussie conditions? :p

GO Catters
Was true until recent decades. Now it’s engineering the ranger, everest, bronco etc.

Whats a proving ground
An automotive testing facility.

I find it fascinating that not only is the sport itself is so old, and that one team has had the same sponsor for so long, but that that sponsor is a pioneering car company, AND that it was a subsidiary of a quintessential American company. ;)

Seriously, it is astounding. Anybody got a photo of the flagship model the first year of the sponsorship or of the first model loaned to a player gratis.:)
Would have been the model T.
 

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Geelong_Sicko

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I find it fascinating that not only is the sport itself is so old, and that one team has had the same sponsor for so long, but that that sponsor is a pioneering car company, AND that it was a subsidiary of a quintessential American company. ;)

Seriously, it is astounding. Anybody got a photo of the flagship model the first year of the sponsorship or of the first model loaned to a player gratis.:)
It would have to be the Model T, wouldn't it?




Model T, automobile built by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 until 1927. Conceived by Henry Ford as practical, affordable transportation for the common man, it quickly became prized for its low cost, durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance. More than 15 million Model Ts were built in Detroit and Highland Park, Michigan. (The automobile was also assembled at a Ford plant in Manchester, England, and at plants in continental Europe.)

Assembly-line production allowed the price of the touring car version to be lowered from $850 in 1908 (equivalent to about 18 months salary for an average wage) to less than $300 in 1925 (equivalent to about 4 months salary for an average wage). At such prices the Model T at times constituted as much as 40 percent of all cars sold in the United States. Even before it lost favour to larger, more powerful, and more luxurious cars, the Model T, known popularly as the “Tin Lizzie” or the “flivver,” had become an American folkloric symbol, essentially realizing Ford’s goal to “democratize the automobile...”
 

Geelong_Sicko

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Sure do. A sled rams them into a big concrete block, while a whole stack of slow motion cameras film it all for analysis.
If they're not already in use has there been any talk about using human cadavers instead of crash test dummies in Australia? Check this out (it's a 2014 article so not current news, but still...);

February 10, 2014

European cars are known to be quite safe, but Spain is beginning a new strategy to reduce auto fatalities even more.

In a warehouse on an arid plateau in Albañiz, in the country’s northeast, a group of engineers operate what amounts to a giant slingshot. When released, a car simulator catapults forward and then stops abruptly, like someone’s stomped on the brakes.

These "crashes" are part of a battery of tests on a new infant car seat, occurring at a public research center called TESSA. Strapped into the simulator is an infant dummy. Lead engineer Francisco Lopez-Valdez says the world owes crash test dummies a lot.

"They’re amazing instruments," he said. "There are 4 or 5 sensors embedded in each one. They let us measure 150 different values, every tenth of a millisecond … including force, resistance, deceleration, skeletal movement."

And yet, he said, researchers know dummies don’t perfectly simulate humans. There are various models, he said, "but all they do is change the dummy’s size. They don’t take into account the protection that extra fat or muscle might give a real person. Or the difference in bone strength between men and women, especially for women over 50 who tend to develop osteoporosis."

Or, take kids, he said. Their tissue is still developing and more prone to internal injuries.

So while he will learn a lot from today’s infant dummy, soon, he said, his data will vastly improve.

To explain, he takes me into a brightly lit room, right next to the test track. It’s TESSA’s brand new morgue, complete with freezers where they’ll soon be storing human cadavers, donated to science.

So what will using cadavers bring to car safety? Mainly, they will show whether a new safety product — say a seat belt or car seat — will protect you from soft tissue injuries. Lopez-Valdez knows this from experience. He worked at a similar lab in Virginia and says his research there saved lives.

"We were testing a new safety belt once, and with the dummies we got incredible results," he said. "But when we did the follow-up tests with cadavers, we realized that there was a dangerous flaw in the design. The belt protected the thorax, but not the pelvis. You couldn’t see this with the dummies, since, obviously, they don’t have working parts in those areas."
 

Down at K Park

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If they're not already in use has there been any talk about using human cadavers instead of crash test dummies in Australia? Check this out (it's a 2014 article so not current news, but still...);
Not that i’m aware of. The main crash research lab is in dearborn michigan. That’s where they do experimentation and crash research. I can’t say i have heard of any manufacturers actually using cadavers though. But i reckon it has probably been done. Because it will provide real results that crash dummies couldn’t. Due to the sensitive nature of using dead people, they probably don’t talk about it though. Interesting question though👍

yep, figured it would be, but was hoping for a Geelong player in kit to be in the driver's seat :)

BTW it looks like they were a bear to drive
The first car that used what we have today, a steering wheel and throttle and brake (or clutch) pedal wasn’t introduced until 1916. The cadillac type 53. But it was only on sale for one year. That steering wheel and peddle layout didn’t become popular until the austin 7 in 1928, and cars started adopting that layout in the following years. The original model T pre-dates all that. But when introduced in 1909, it was the first to use 3 pedals. But one of them was to engage high gear. The throttle was a lever on the steering column. And it also had levers for spark advance. So it was a fairly complicated thing to drive.

You’d think there would be photos of players with the old cars from the 20’s, but photo opportunities/sponsorship promotions didn’t really seem to be a thing back then. I do wonder wether the club has some old photos in it’s archives though. Is it the gartland collection that has all the old club memorabilia?
 

Spazz Cat

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Not that i’m aware of. The main crash research lab is in dearborn michigan. That’s where they do experimentation and crash research. I can’t say i have heard of any manufacturers actually using cadavers though. But i reckon it has probably been done. Because it will provide real results that crash dummies couldn’t. Due to the sensitive nature of using dead people, they probably don’t talk about it though. Interesting question though👍



The first car that used what we have today, a steering wheel and throttle and brake (or clutch) pedal wasn’t introduced until 1916. The cadillac type 53. But it was only on sale for one year. That steering wheel and peddle layout didn’t become popular until the austin 7 in 1928, and cars started adopting that layout in the following years. The original model T pre-dates all that. But when introduced in 1909, it was the first to use 3 pedals. But one of them was to engage high gear. The throttle was a lever on the steering column. And it also had levers for spark advance. So it was a fairly complicated thing to drive.

You’d think there would be photos of players with the old cars from the 20’s, but photo opportunities/sponsorship promotions didn’t really seem to be a thing back then. I do wonder wether the club has some old photos in it’s archives though. Is it the gartland collection that has all the old club memorabilia?
Watched a doco on a human crash test dummy in the 50's.
He lived longer than what you'd think.

Driving must of been a real skill then. I'd assume you'd have to advance the spark the same time as the throttle?
Bit like now how trucks are going all auto. Anyone can do it. Skill is gone.
 
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