Under the cover of Christmas, the premier sporting stadium in the state of New South Wales – Telstra Stadium became ANZ Stadium for the next 7 years. Home to many sporting codes, the change has a larger effect on the NRL as several Rugby League teams base their campaign out of the high capacity stadium.
Telstra have held naming rights to the stadium since 2002 and it took a $4.5 million a year injection from ANZ to secure the new rights in what is the largest ever stadium sponsorship deal inked in this country. Owner operator Stadium Australia was no doubt pleased with the deal that will ensure the stadium remains a premier sporting icon for NSW and Australia in the years ahead.
Telstra will continue to be the flagship sponsor of the NRL, however it will take Rugby League fans quite some time to get used to the new name ‘ANZ Stadium’. Adding to the confusion, is the fact that ANZ previously sponsored the QE2 Stadium in Brisbane, which was the home of the Broncos from 1993-2003. Once considered a top quality, high capacity stadium – sadly QE2 Stadium in Brisbane (now known as the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre) is now mostly retired. Few events are held at the former landmark and it’s mostly used for school athletic meetings and similar small events.
As the Rugby League clubs continue their drive for cash, the future may see more stadiums use naming rights as a revenue raising vehicle. Clubs such as Cronulla have sold their stadium naming rights for years, Endeavour Field the Sharks home turf has been known as; Caltex Field, Toyota Park, Shark Park and various other names and more recently the Penrith Panthers inked a large deal and lent their stadium naming rights to the large Credit Union Australia (CUA) Group for a handsome sum.