By Luke Voogt
Ford’s sponsorship of Geelong Football Club is set to eclipse a century in 2025 following a historic signing yesterday.
Ford Australia president Andrew Birkic and Geelong Football Club chief executive Brian Cook signed a contract at GMHBA Stadium, securing the deal for a further five years.
The pair signed the contract flanked by Geelong Cats superstars Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield, Meghan McDonald and Becky Webster.
The club believes the partnership, first signed in 1925, to be the longest-running sporting sponsorship in the world.
“If there’s one thing footy and Ford have in common, it’s the dedication and passion of their fans right throughout our histories,” Mr Birkic said.
“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.”
Ford has continued the sponsorship despite closing its Geelong factory in 2016.
The motoring giant still maintains a global research and development hub in Norlane and a proving ground at the You Yangs.
“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,” Mr 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.”
Executive chairman Bill Ford sent his well-wishes ‘Down Under’ in a letter to the club from Ford’s Michigan headquarters.
“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,” he wrote.
“Geelong has always been a very important place for Ford, with many of our 2500 Australian designers, engineers and specialists calling it home.”
“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!”