Two Birds takes back the Bulldogs

Bulldogs rising star Eleanor Brown with Two Birds co-founder Jayne Lewis

Two Birds Brewing is partnering with the Western Bulldogs AFLW team again two years after the sponsorship changed hands.

Melbourne’s Two Birds originally signed with the Bulldogs for a first season in 2018, before renewing the deal again for 2019. It was then taken over by Gage Roads Brewing in 2020 after the previous contract ended.

“The Western Bulldogs AFLW team are one of the first clubs to start up a women’s side,” explained Two Birds co-founder Danielle Allen.

“So there were only a handful of clubs in the first season of the Women’s League, which was in 2018. They were the pioneers, and that was the year where we broke ground as well as the first brewery to sign a sponsorship with the women’s side.

“This is the first year that all 18 AFL clubs around Australia have a women’s team in the league. So it’s a big year… [and now] we’ve reunited and come back together for the greater good of women in the West.”

Two Birds’ range of beers will be available at the club’s second home ground, Mars Stadium, while the redevelopment of VU Whitten Oval continues.

To celebrate the latest one-year deal, Two Birds is offering a pot of any core range beers on the house at the Two Birds Nest bar in Spotswood to celebrate the renewed partnership.

Any Western Bulldogs AFL or AFLW club member can present their card each time they visit for the whole AFLW season.

“We’re thrilled to be reuniting with Two Birds Brewing in an official capacity, on the eve of Season 7 of the AFLW competition,” said Bulldogs’ CEO Ameet Bains.

“Since setting up in 2014, Jayne and Danielle have been able to build Two Birds Brewing into a highly successful business from the heart of the western suburbs, and they have continued to inspire a new generation to follow their dreams.

“We are excited to work closely with them again, to support our women’s team this season and beyond.”

“It’s the perfect partnership for Two Birds, giving us an opportunity to support women excelling in their field and a grassroots movement right in our backyard,” said Two Birds’ co-founder Jayne Lewis.

“The rise of the AFLW and the inspiration it provides to us as mature women, and the new generation coming through is intangible. It’s both empowering and tremendously exciting, the Doggies are a committed and competitive bunch.”

At the time that the Western Bulldogs made the sponsorship move, Allen called it “painful” as the deal with the AFLW team was “close to our hearts, being our local team and an opportunity for us both to raise the female voice across sport, beer and business”.

Since then however, Two Birds was first acquired by Stone & Wood Brewing Co.’s parent company Fermentum, which was then itself acquired by Kirin-owned Lion in one of the biggest deals in the Australian craft brewing industry.

Allen explained that being part of a bigger group had its advantages especially to a women’s side that was also growing.

“The club is being refurbished at the moment, and there will be bigger opportunities from a pouring and entertainment and functions point of view that’s coming up in the next two years,” she said.

“So I think knowing that we have the support of a bigger business behind us with a bigger, broader portfolio – that has been a positive.”

As breweries look closer at sponsorships to extend brand awareness into other sectors, a number of breweries including Prancing Pony and Mismatch and Willie Smith’s have teamed up with local sporting organisations.

While some remain in partnership with the same local teams, it is not necessarily a common occurrence with teams regularly changing sponsors between seasons and once contracts are complete.

Gage Roads Brew Co. – whose parent company recently acquired another Melbourne brewery, Stomping Ground – said that it had been a successful run at the Bulldogs.

“Gage Roads Brew Co thoroughly enjoyed its partnership with the Western Bulldogs. While our two year sponsorship term has concluded, we wish the club, and its people, all the best in the future,” a Gage Roads spokesperson said.

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