Working with West Coast Fever to promote healthy living
The West Coast Fever (Fever) represents WA in the National Netball League (Suncorp Super Netball League) and has been supported by Healthway promoting various health messages since 2009. In 2019, Healthway promoting LiveLighter®, became the Fever’s Principal Sponsor Partnership.
To educate families, particularly females, on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.
West Coast Fever Ltd.
More Western Australians live healthy lifestyles
More Western Australians are mentally healthy
Active Healthy People
Health, Healthy Eating, Mental Health, Physical Activity, Sport & Recreation
- The message was remembered and broadly accepted.
- The project promoted a good understanding and acceptance of its key messages in promoting the benefits of healthy eating.
- More education is required to counteract the perceived cost of positive health changes.
The increasing rate of overweight and obesity is a major public health issue in Australia, involving all ages and socioeconomic groups . Chronic diseases associated with overweight and obesity, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal conditions, are one of the leading causes of morbidity, mortality, and burden of disease in Australia  .
In working with Fever, Healthway saw an opportunity to educate families, particularly females, on the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. Given their strong on-court performance, high community profile and membership base, including a high proportion of mothers and daughters, the Fever is well placed to provide strong female role-models to highlight the importance of living healthy and active lifestyles.
The partnership aimed to:
- Increase awareness and understanding of the LiveLighter® health message among the target audience.
- Encourage behaviour change leading to good health.
- Facilitate structural and policy change to create healthy sporting environments.
As Principal Partner, the LiveLighter® message was integrated with the Fever brand through marketing, communication, and match day activities. This included promotion across the team’s extensive digital activities, advertising campaigns, and other sponsor and partner activations. The Fever’s digital reach extends to the 200,000 participants that engage within Netball WA’s programs and competitions across the State.
As the Fever’s Principal Partner, the LiveLighter® logo was placed on player apparel including the side and front of the playing uniform. It was also promoted on signage around the court ensuring that spectators in the stadium and those watching the TV broadcast were exposed to the message. LiveLighter® videos featuring Fever players, were also aired at home games and were very popular on social media.
LiveLighter® was the match day partner for two games during the 2019 season. Game promotions included the distribution of LiveLighter® recipe cards featuring Fever players, and nutrition education tools were distributed within membership packs. A ‘guess the sugar content’ quiz was held during quarter time.
During game two, 10 per cent (768) of crowd members participated in an interactive live quiz, answering questions about the Fever and their fruit and vegetable knowledge. Of those who participated, 743 downloaded the runner-up prize – the LiveLighter® recipe book.
Aside from match day activities, the partnership offered opportunities to promote healthy nutrition and lifestyles through school holiday clinics, player appearances, corporate and community activities. Fever players provided more than 1,100 appearance hours throughout the year, including netball clinics, school visits, media activities, partner activations, corporate events, and community engagements. As Fever ambassadors, players wore their team uniform during all appearances, promoting the LiveLighter message, and spoke about healthy lifestyles.
Additionally, within Netball Australia’s national agreement, the Fever can influence the Suncorp Super Netball League’s national sponsors and reduce the number of unhealthy sponsors such as alcohol and fast food, associated with the Fever brand and marketed to the WA community.
Impacts and outcomes
A self-administered survey of 216 spectators and their engagement with the LiveLighter® message during two Fever games in 2019 showed that:
- The vast majority of participants (70%) were meeting physical activity guidelines.
- Only about a quarter were eating the recommended amount of fruit.
As a result of seeing or hearing the LiveLighter ® message at the current or previous Fever games:
- 53% reported they intended doing something related to the LiveLighter® message.
Of those intending to do something related to the LiveLighter® message:
- 39% reported they would healthier foods, 26% would avoid sugary drinks and 17% would exercise more.
- 10% said they would reduce sugar and fat in their diet.
As a result of seeing or hearing the LiveLighter® message at the current or previous Fever games:
- 33% reported not drinking sugary drinks.
- 24% reported they were exercising more.
- 24% reported they were eating healthier food.
- 7% reported they were eating more fruit and vegetables.
Healthway and the Fever have committed to a LiveLighter® partnership through to the end of 2023, which will allow both organisations to build on reported positive health changes and continue to promote the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity across the netball community.
The message was remembered and broadly accepted.
Through the activities implemented, there has been positive awareness of the LiveLighter® health message, and a good understanding and acceptance of its key messages in promoting the benefits of healthy eating.
What didn’t work
More education is required to counteract the perceived cost of positive health changes.
Surveyed members were aware of, and broadly supported the LiveLighter® message, although several challenges remain in promoting and supporting healthy eating habits. These include the costs associated with healthier foods, motivation to choose heathier options, and how to prepare tasty nutritional meals.
Making sure healthy options are easily available, presented attractively and sold at a favourable price is something that could be improved to support behaviour change.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australia’s health 2016, in Australia’s health series 2016, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Canberra.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Impact of overweight and obesity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease Study, in Australian Burden of Disease Study series. 2017, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: Canberra.
- Department of Health. Overweight and Obesity in WA. 2020 04/06/2020 [cited 2021 19/08]; Available from: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/N_R/Overweight-and-Obesity-in-WA.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as the original custodians of this country, recognising their connection to land, waters and community. We respect their cultures and Elders, past and present.
Ngala kaaditj Whadjuk moort keyen kaadak nidja boodja – We acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar people as the original custodians of the land on which we are based.