Visit Victoria's branding is set to feature on the uniforms of the Australian national team under the partnership ©Getty Images

Netball Australia has entered a partnership with tourism company Visit Victoria to cover the next five years, including its preparations for the next edition of the Commonwealth Games.

Victoria is set to stage what has been billed as the first regional edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2026.

The national governing body had been seeking a major partner to replace mining company Hancock Prospecting, which pulled its contract following a player-led backlash against its environmental record and anti-indigenous comments made by late founder Lang Hancock in the 1980s.

Its partnership with Visit Victoria is set to begin from next year, with at least one national team match held in the state annually for the next five years and the company's logo to feature on the Diamonds' uniforms.

Victoria is also set to host next year's Suncorp Super Netball Grand Final, the biggest domestic match in the sport.

Australia reclaimed their Commonwealth Games title at Birmingham 2022, and Diamonds captain Liz Watson said that the partnership would play an important part in its defence.

"This is a significant partnership for the Origin Australian Diamonds as we prepare to defend our Commonwealth Games gold medal in Victoria in 2026," she commented.

"Visit Victoria is a proud supporter of netball and this investment will benefit all levels of our game."

Victoria is due to stage the next edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2026 ©Getty Images
Victoria is due to stage the next edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2026 ©Getty Images

Netball Australia chief executive Kelly Ryan also welcomed the deal.

"Victoria is a proud sporting state and we are delighted to announce a new partnership with Visit Victoria," Ryan said.   

"The partnership will guarantee Victorians the opportunity to experience more netball across the next five years. 

"This investment will benefit all levels of netball - from our pathway system to the Suncorp Super Netball League and the Origin Australian Diamonds."

Victoria's Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos added: "This ground-breaking partnership with the Diamonds will allow us to further showcase why we do sport better than anywhere else in Australia."

Victoria was awarded the 2026 Commonwealth Games as the only candidate in April, and dates of March 17 to 29 have already been announced, alongside a sporting programme consisting of 26 disciplines.

Australia are the world's number one-ranked netball side, and Brisbane 2032 is viewed as the best upcoming opportunity for the sport to feature at an Olympic Games for the first time.