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Volume 6 No. 197

Marketing and Sponsorship

National Rugby League clubs named in the Australian Crime Commission's report are "considering legal action amid revelations the allegations have cost Cronulla" up to A$2M ($2.07M) in sponsorship, according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. While club bosses were "reluctant to comment on their plans when contacted on Monday" one CEO said that "there had already been preliminary discussions among them about seeking damages over the impact of the report." The exec said that "there were expected to be further discussions at Wednesday's meeting of chief executives in Sydney, and the six clubs -- Canberra, Cronulla, Manly, Newcastle, North Queensland and Penrith" could be among others not mentioned in the report. The Sharks are "reeling from the fallout of the report, which officials say had cost them a potential new deal for the naming rights of their home ground." Cronulla Marketing and Communications GM Patrick Woods said that "the Sharks had been in the final stages of negotiations for the stadium naming rights when the ACC report was released" on Feb. 7. Woods said, "We were very close to signing a million-dollar-plus deal and the ACC report was a major factor in the breakdown of those negotiations" (SMH, 2/19).

NO SHARKS SPONSOR: In Sydney, Read & Honeysett reported that "the Sharks are set to begin the season without a major or sleeve sponsor." Canberra Chair John McIntyre said, "It's obviously the topic of the moment ... There will be discussion about that. I haven't spoken to everybody but I would be very, very surprised if it isn't (discussed)" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/19).

National Rugby League club Parramatta Eels will part ways with major sponsor Pirtek at the end of the season after "failing to reach an agreement over the value of the deal," according to Michael Chammas of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Reports suggest the Eels have raised their asking price from A$1M ($1.04M) to A$1.5M a season, an increase Pirtek did not "deem as a worthwhile investment." This will end Pirtek's nine-year association as the club's major sponsor. The company was looking to extend its contract with the Western Sydney club for an amount similar to the A$1M-a-season it paid in '10 as part of a three-year deal that extended through to the end of '13. There is a suggestion the Eels demanded such a large sponsorship price as a means to terminate its association with Pirtek "because of the tension between the Eels board" and Pirtek CEO Glenn Duncan. Duncan resigned from the board in Oct. '11 after "expressing his dismay over the way it handled the financial saga that surrounded former Eels boss Paul Osborne" (SMH, 2/19).

Restaurant chain Outback Steakhouse has agreed to a sponsorship deal with the Brazilian Rugby Confederation (CBR) for the South American championships, which are set to start at the end of the month (MKTESPORTIVO, 2/18). ... German Hockey League (DEL) club Hamburg Freezers have extended their sponsorship deal with Hamburg-based car dealership Autohaus C. Thomsen for another two years until the end of the '14-15 season. The company will continue to be featured on the team's jersey as well as on the ice and on an ad board in camera view (Hamburg Freezers). ... Sportswear company Centauro has agreed to a sponsorship deal with the Copa do Brasil. The contract was brokered by Traffic Sports. As a result of the agreement, the company will have its logo present in the stadiums, on the boards around the pitch and on game tickets (MEIO & MENSAGEM, 2/18). ... Brewer Thwaites will remain the official beer of Lancashire County Cricket Club until '15. As part of the deal, the brewery's logo will appear on the County Championship shirts for the next three seasons and runs concurrently with the ongoing beer supply deal in place (LCCC). ... English third-tier league team Milton Keynes Dons FC has announced that Case Security will remain the team's title sponsor for the '13-14 season (Milton Keynes Dons).