Surf Life Saving Australia will launch a new fundraising initiative with iconic thong brand Havaianas and is also set to launch a review of its national sponsorship strategy.
The non-profit surf livesaving organisation is set to launch a new campaign, 'Thongs2SaveLives', that will see $1 from every pair of Havaianas sold at various outlets donated to the SLSA.
Pairs of the thongs sold at David Jones, or one of four national surf retailers, or through Havaianas' online shop in the final week before summer will all raise funds for the SLSA.
The campaign will use TV celebrity Elyse Knowles to drive awareness through social and digital channels. SLSA chief executive, Melissa King, said the campaign would be a key part of raising the estimated average cost of $86,000 per beach it costs to patrol each beach in Australia through summer.
The Havaianas partnership will also kick off SLSA's national fundraising campaign, 'Be a Life Saver'. According to the SLSA, the campaign reached more than one million beachgoers last summer.
Surf Life Saving sponsorship drops in 2016-17
Meanwhile, the SLSA has flagged a review of its sponsorship strategy and on-beach assets nationally in its 2016-17 financial report.
Both sponsorship revenue and donations dipped for the SLSA in the last financial year – sponsorship fell 10% to $10.9m, while donations and fundraising were down 7.1% to $16.6m.
The report said that 2017-18 would see a "review [of] sponsorship strategy and parameters of use in the SLSA gear and equipment guidelines to ensure brand remains protected and valued."
A total of 168,823 SLSA volunteers conducted 1.35 million hours of patrolling in 2016-17, with 108,044 first aid treatments, almost 11,000 rescues and close to four million preventative actions.