In a major boost for Australian athletics and the Nitro Athletics concept, Coles has signed on as naming rights partner of the inaugural event, which kicks off in Melbourne this Saturday.
Joining Coles on the start line for Nitro Athletics Melbourne are Optus, Rebel, Life First, Accor, Puma and the Greater Shepparton City Council all as event partners.
They join the principal partner Visit Victoria, whose support from the initial concept has allowed Nitro Athletics Melbourne to take flight.
Coles Nitro Athletics Melbourne will be broadcast on Channel 7, 7mate and PLUS7 Live app, in a return to prime time domestic athletics in Australia for the first time in more than a decade.
Athletics Australia president Mark Arbib said the support was proof that the Nitro Athletics concept was the product needed to breathe life back into athletics.
“Athletics needed a new product and Athletics Australia had a number of goals in working to develop Nitro Athletics,” Arbib said.
“They all lead back to providing more support for our athletes at international level and more support for our clubs and coaches at the grassroots.”
“Look at what Tennis Australia has achieved with the Australian Open and Cricket Australia has done with the Big Bash. Much of their revenue is directed back to the grassroots, but it’s the major events that generate that revenue,” Arbib said.
“We are back on commercial television in Australia through our event partner in Channel 7. We have sold international rights across many territories including Japan, China, UK and Europe, South Africa, New Zealand with a US deal also close to completion and we have developed a property that is attractive to Australia’s corporate community.”
“We have sold more tickets to the three Nitro events than we’ve sold for all Athletics Australia events across the last five or six years combined. We aren’t sold out yet, the final night is almost there, but we expect a rush in this last week and again for the second night on Thursday once sports fans see the show we are putting on.”
“And the interest we are getting from other national federations and host cities around the world is staggering. This is a property that Athletics Australia owns and has developed and the global potential for Nitro Athletics is enormous,” Arbib said.
Coles Managing Director John Durkan said Coles was proud to be part of the ground-breaking Nitro Athletes series and their team look forward to being part of the fun.
“The first-ever Coles Nitro Athletics competition is set to be an exciting and action-packed event for people of all ages in Melbourne and around Australia, so we’re thrilled to be a major sponsor,” Durkan said.
“As an Australian company, Coles has always been a big supporter of Aussie sporting events and we‘ve contributed to grassroots sports in communities around the nation.”
“Athletics is an activity that everyone can get involved in and we’re proud to be part an event which will encourage people to live active and healthy lifestyles.”
“To add to the fun, the Coles team is planning a range of activities for event attendees, including a chance to test their skills on the Coles bucking big red hand.”
The world’s greatest athlete, Usain Bolt, will compete and captain the Bolt All-Stars in the new sports entertainment series set to revolutionise global track and field.
The high energy, team-based competition will see Bolt and his All-Stars take on Team Australia and teams from England, New Zealand, Japan and China on Saturday 4, Thursday 9 and Saturday 11 February.