Victoria University has stepped up its support of the Western Bulldogs by inking an historic five-year partnership deal.

The deal, unveiled at the Western Bulldogs Best and Fairest presentation last Wednesday night, is the first time in AFL partnership history a sponsor has backed each of a club’s Australian Football League (AFL), Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) and Victorian Football League (VFL) teams.

VU vice chancellor Peter Dawkins said the partnership includes educational support for players, research projects and opportunities for students.

“On the field, VU sports scientists help Western Bulldogs players hone their performance,” he said.

“Off the field we support them by providing the most comprehensive range of sport and exercise science facilities in the southern hemisphere.”

Western Bulldogs chief executive Gary Kent said the Western Bulldogs and Victoria University have had a strong relationship for more than three decades.

“We are excited about what the next five years will hold for us, and the opportunity to build on some of the great initiatives we have undertaken together.”

The Victoria University Education Award, announced at the awards night, went to rising AFL star and Bachelor of Business student Tom Campbell, who is working on an education app for players.