National Rugby League's Canterbury Pockets $100K From Sponsor Following Lunch Promise
National Rugby League club Canterbury will receive a A$100,000 ($104,800) check from major sponsor Jaycar Electronics as a result of "a promise made over a boozy preseason lunch," according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Jaycar Electronics Managing Dir Gary Johnston was "so convinced that the Bulldogs' first season under Coach Des Hasler would be a year of rebuilding that he agreed to a six-figure minor premiership bonus." The Bulldogs have topped the NRL ladder at the end of the premiership season, while picking up A$100,000 in prize money, along with the J.J. Giltinan Shield trophy. The team has further potential to collect another A$400,000 if it goes on to win its first grand final since '04. Regardless of how the season ends, the Bulldogs will still pocket A$100,000 "thanks to Johnston's inadvertent pledge at a lunch" with Canterbury CEO Todd Greenberg, Chair Ray Dib, and ex-Chair and premiership-winning Captain George Peponis. Johnston said, "I was having lunch with Todd and George Peponis and Ray Dib at a very nice restaurant earlier in the year, before the competition started and everyone was trying to predict who was going to be in the final eight." He continued: "We've had about three bottles of wine by this stage, and it's getting late in the afternoon. Todd said to me, 'Hey, what if we become minor premiers? How about giving us a bonus?' I went, 'Why not?,' thinking they're not even going to get in the eight...I never thought I'd ever have to pay out. But I'm very happy to give them the money" (SMH, 9/20).