AFL Western District commercial and operations manager Matt Ross says leagues, clubs and sponsors are "part of one big eco-system" and should work together to ensure long-term viability.
Ross told The Main Break podcast while he was realistic there would be financial fallout from COVID-19, there were signs those impacted could fight back.
"A lot of businesses are down in revenue so they start to look at their discretionary expenses and sponsorship, for some businesses, is a luxury," he said.
Listen to The Main Break podcast with Matt Ross here:
"It depends too on the type of industry clubs are linked with. Some industries around here seem to be going OK at the moment whereas some are more heavily impacted, say you look at your pubs and clubs.
"I am told some of the agricultural organisations are still going OK."
Ross said the fact four leagues - Hampden, Warrnambool and District, South West District and Mininera and District - cancelled their 2020 senior netball and football competitions amid the pandemic had helped ease the burden on sponsors.
"This year I think most clubs have given their sponsors a bit of a reprieve in terms of the dollars having to be put in, given there is no cost for that club to run," he said.
"Hopefully with that sort of buffer, those sponsors can jump back in.
"It is vitally important our sponsors give us that support but also vitally important our sporting community give back to them as well.
"Most clubs have had really good promotions with local businesses and being able to give back and I think that's been a really good thing to come out of it too.
"We're all part of one big eco-system and everyone has their bit to play."
Ross, who has been in the role nine months, also spoke about the salary cap, junior player and umpire retention and his love for the game.