2023 AFL Rising Star winner and 2022 AFL No.3 draft pick Harry Sheezel (North Melbourne FC) with Blackburn FC players Jethro Cassar and Amelia Pierce. Credit: Paul Hermes.

The AFL is pleased to announce that major partner Telstra has expanded its partnership and will add its support to the stars of the future as naming rights partner for the AFL and AFLW Drafts, and AFL and AFLW Rising Star Awards in 2024.

Telstra, a valued supporter of the AFL and its communities for more than 20 years, will back footy young guns as the Telstra AFL Rising Star award recognises the best young player for 2024 in both the Toyota AFL Season and the NAB AFLW Season. Telstra will award a grand prize of $15,000 to each winner.

Telstra will also support the up-and-coming drafts with the Telstra AFL Draft and the Telstra AFLW Draft taking place later this year, where AFL and AFLW Clubs select their next stars of the game.

DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news

AFL Executive General Manager Customer and Commercial Kylie Rogers said the AFL is thrilled to have Telstra expand its partnership and back the up-and-coming players of the game.

"Telstra is a valued partner, including backing local footy via the Telstra Footy Country Grants program which supports clubs nationwide. We are delighted to have Telstra add to their partnership by supporting the young guns of our game with the Telstra Rising Star awards and Telstra Drafts,” Ms Rogers said.

"Our grassroots clubs and next generation of players are integral to the future of the game, and we thank Telstra for its ongoing support in these areas of the league."

Telstra Executive, Brent Smart, said:

"We've been backing AFL for yonks and are proud to be extending our support to invest in the next generation of AFL and AFLW stars through the Draft and Rising Star Awards.

"We look forward to working with these young guns and continuing to grow the game we all love."

Reigning AFL Rising Star winner Harry Sheezel and reigning AFLW Rising Star winner Zarlie Goldsworthy welcomed Telstra as partner for the award and Draft.

RISING STAR HUB All the latest nominees, full history

"From a young draftee to Rising Star winner, my AFL career to date has been incredible so it’s great to have Telstra on board to support the start of the footy journey,” Sheezel said.

"Coming from a country town to the GIANTS has been a whirlwind. It was a dream to be drafted and play AFLW, to then win the Rising Star – it’s amazing to have Telstra supporting the up-and-coming players of the competition as well as the work they’re doing at a local level with the Telstra Footy Country Grants,” Goldsworthy said.

The Telstra AFL Rising Star will be announced at the AFL Awards night in September, while the Telstra AFLW Rising Star will be announced at the W Awards later this year.

The 2024 Telstra AFL Draft will take place in November, while the 2024 Telstra AFLW Draft date will be announced in due course.

Fans can view the 2024 Telstra AFL Rising Star nominations to date and read more information about the award here