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SBD Global/August 3, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sydney FC Secures First Sponsorship Deal In 12 Months By Landing Webjet

A-League Sydney FC has agreed to a two-year sponsorship deal with Australian online travel agency Webjet worth close to $600,000 a season, signaling a "massive relief for the club," according to Ray Gatt of THE AUSTRALIAN. It is Sydney's first major sponsorship in a year. The Melbourne-based travel agency, is also "a major partner" of AFL club Melbourne. Long regarded as a flagship of the A-League, Sydney's pride was dented when it was forced to face taunts for playing without a front-of-shirt sponsor last season. New CEO Tony Pignata, the "driving force" behind securing Webjet, admitted that it "would not have been a good look had the club again failed to lure a major sponsor" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/3). In Sydney, Tom Smithies reported that the deal is "a coup" for Pignata, a month into his tenure at the Sky Blues. Pignata believes that the deal "shows the club can still carry commercial cache, despite the turnover of senior staff over several seasons that has undermined attempts to build the club's brand." Pignata said, "To get someone like Webjet, to get them so far out from the start of the season and not be going into round one without a sponsor is very pleasing, especially when I've only been in the job for a few weeks" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/3).
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