The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC

-d -h -min -sec

Marketing Brand Purpose Brand Strategy

AFL team Freemantle Dockers urged to drop major sponsor Woodside Energy


By Danielle Long | Acting APAC Editor

October 19, 2022 | 4 min read

Western Australian AFL team, the Freemantle Dockers, is facing a campaign from fans to end its partnership with major sponsor Woodside Energy.

Freemantle Dockers AFL

Fans of AFL team the Freemantle Dockers are urging the team to ditch its fossil fuels aligned sponsor Woodside Energy

A group of high-profile fans, which includes internationally acclaimed author Tim Winton and former Western Australian premier Carmen Lawrence, along with climate scientists and activists, have called on the club to ditch the company over its association with fossil fuels.

In an open letter to Freemantle Dockers' president and board members, the group called for an end to the sponsorship deal, which has been in place since 2010.

The letter said, "it is no longer appropriate to have a fossil fuel company as our major sponsor moving forward" and cited the energy company's offshore gas project, which it claims is the largest fossil fuel project to be approved in Australia for a decade, according to media reports.

"Despite claims it is trying to decarbonise, Woodside has doubled down on fossil fuels in the last year; purchasing BHP's oil and gas assets and becoming one of the top ten largest fossil fuel companies in the world," the letter read.

Freemantle Dockers president Dale Alcock said the club has no plans to terminate the Woodside sponsorship deal, which is worth "millions of dollars". The current sponsorship agreement runs until the end of 2023. "There’s obligations to abide by that contract, and that’s what we’ll be doing,” said Alcock.

It comes days after members of Australia's national women's netball team, The Diamonds, refused to wear uniforms featuring their new sponsor, mining giant Hancock Prospecting.

This week, it was revealed that Australian Cricket Test Captain Pat Cummins expressed concerns about major sponsor Alinta Energy and said he would not appear in ads for the brand.

However, Cricket Australia has denied the claims stating the decision to end the sponsorship deal in June 2023 was due to a change in Alinta Energy's brand strategy.

These are the latest in a string of protests about energy and fossil fuel companies sponsoring sporting teams and events.

Earlier this year, Tennis Australia dropped oil and gas company, Santos as a major partner following a huge backlash from fans. The contract termination came one year into a multi-year sponsorship deal, which saw the company appointed the Official Natural Gas Partner for the Australian Open and ATP Cup.

Earlier this year, Macquarie University pulled out of a children's science event, which was sponsored by Santos, arguing that a fossil fuel-producing company was an inappropriate sponsor for the event.

Marketing Brand Purpose Brand Strategy

More from Marketing

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +