Woolworths' incredible act in Riley Day Olympic sponsorship saga

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Seen here, Woolworths have announced a partnership with employee and Olympian Riley Day.
Woolworths have jumped on board to announce a partnership with employee and Olympian Riley Day. Image: Getty/LinkedIn

Supermarket giant Woolworths have answered the calls of Olympic Games fans across Australia after announcing a sponsorship deal with Tokyo track and field sensation, Riley Day.

Woolworths were flooded with thousands of comments calling for them to sponsor Day after her incredible performance at the Olympics.

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Day shot to superstardom in Tokyo when she smashed her PB in the 200m semi-finals with a time of 22.56 seconds.

The 21-year-old narrowly missed a spot in the star-studded final, but gave a tantalising glimpse of what she could achieve in the next few years.

Speaking to Channel 7 after the race, the Queenslander revealed she hasn't got a sponsor and funded her trip to the Olympics by working at her local Woolies in Beaudesert.

The interview went viral around Australia and prompted an avalanche of support for the athlete and calls for Woolworths to get behind the track star.

In a beautiful twist, the supermarket giant has now revealed details of a new partnership with Day that will allow her to relocate to Brisbane to work on her dream of competing at the Paris Games in 2024.

Brisbane will offer Day access to better training facilities, coaches and programs in her quest for an Olympic Games medal in Paris.

“Now that I have achieved a personal best on the global stage, I’m grateful for the long term investment and commitment that Woolworths will provide to help me take the next stage in my athletics career as I set my sights on Paris 2024.

As part of the partnership with Woolworths, Day will partake in a number of educational programs centred around eating healthy and fresh food.

“Being an athlete and also a part of the Beaudesert Woolworths fruit and veg team I know how important eating Aussie fresh food plays in helping an athlete achieve their best. 

"I’m pleased that through the partnership with Woolworths I can hopefully inspire others, particularly the next generation to pick fresh and play fresh as they pursue their passion.” 

Riley Day is pictured here after her 200m semi-final race at the Tokyo Olympics.
Riley Day (pictured) won the hearts of Australians around the world after a brilliant interview following her women's 200m semi-final race at the Tokyo Olympics. (Getty Images)

Riley Day paves the way for future stars

Day will also take part in a new program that helps identify and fund rising stars of the future, with Woolworths to select three team members each year to receive $10,000 grants towards chasing their dreams in either arts or sport.

“We are incredibly proud of Riley and her journey over the past several years both on and off the track," Woolworths Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Hicks said.

“Riley is a perfect example of the connection fresh food plays in performing at your best, for both Australian kids and our wider team. She has huge potential and we can’t wait to work with her to inspire a new generation of fresh food kids and see her take the next step in her promising athletic career.

“With more than 180,000 Woolworths team members across the country, we know there’s plenty more talent in our stores, distribution centres and support offices that deserve the opportunity to pursue their dreams, and the ‘Pick Fresh Play Fresh’ Team Grants will help make these a reality. 

Day's profile exploded in Tokyo during a brilliant post-race interview where Channel 7 commentator Jason Richardson called on sponsors to get behind Day and offered the young sprinter the chance to plug herself on live TV.

"I mean, if you do want to follow my story, my Instagram is '_rileyday', that is where I post most of my stuff," she said.

"So, if you want to follow along, that is where it is."

The self-promotion certainly did the trick, with her Instagram following skyrocketing from 21,000 to over 90,000 at time of publishing.

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