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SBD Global/November 14, 2012/People and Pop Culture

National Rugby League To Use Sonny Bill Williams In Marketing Campaign

Rugby player SONNY BILL WILLIAMS' A$550,000 ($574,000) contract with National Rugby League club Sydney Roosters has already earned the league "double the amount, with New Zealand TV rights now worth an extra A$1M," according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. While some within the game "are unhappy about Williams' return after walking out on a five-year contract with Canterbury in '08," the efforts of Roosters Chair NICK POLITIS to bring him back "are set to benefit not only the Bondi club but the entire competition." Rival clubs "will get their chance to cash in when they play home games against the Roosters -- starting with the Warriors in round two." The Auckland, New Zealand-based club "has already made arrangements to move the clash from Mt. Smart Stadium to the 50,000 capacity Eden Park." With the NRL "still negotiating a New Zealand broadcast deal, Fairfax has been told that representatives of Sky TV have been asking for confirmation of Williams' signing with the Roosters as his return increases the value of the rights by A$1M" (SMH, 11/14). In Sydney, Andrew Webster reported that "after his one-year deal was officially confirmed with the Roosters," the NRL "now wants to put his name in lights again -- including next season's advertising campaign." NRL Marketing Dir PAUL KIND said, "Once his contract is registered, I would be seeking an immediate meeting with the Roosters about his involvement in next year's advertising campaign. It would absolutely be the intention of the NRL to work with the Roosters to ensure we get value out of his return to the game. He's another star in the stable" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11/14).
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