Hawks Netball Club will break new ground off the court in 2021, with Australian video game giant Big Ant Studios signing on as a major sponsor.

Developer of sports video games including AO Tennis 2, Ashes Cricket, AFL Live and Big Bash Boom, Big Ant will back the Hawks for the next four years, in a major coup for the club.

Hawks Netball president Shane O’Sullivan said the new agreement would significantly strengthen Hawks Netball’s off-field position, and help the club continue to build a stronger program for its players.

“We all know how hard financial support is to come by in netball, so for Big Ant Studios to be on board not just in the short-term but for the next four years is an announcement we’re thrilled to make and very proud of. We can’t think Big Ant enough for their support.” O’Sullivan said.

“With a new home at Oakleigh Recreation Centre and now this, on top of what is already a very strong offering that our club delivers, the Hawks couldn’t be better placed to provide the best possible program for our players.”

“After a very tough 2020, we hope this is just the start of big things in 2021 and moving forward.”

Founded in 2001, Big Ant Studios has produced dozens of video games for consoles and mobile devices and recently sold to French company Nacon.

The sponsorship is Big Ant CEO Ross Symons’ latest investment in women’s sport, with the pioneering developer already a major sponsor at an AFLW franchise.

“We believe it is important to support women’s sport,” Symons said.

“The ongoing growth of netball across Australia has been incredible in giving girls the chance to realise their sporting aspirations, and as one of the leading Victorian teams, we are thrilled to be able to do our part to support that mission by sponsoring the Hawks.”