15 years is a long time in any affiliation with sport, and for Harvey Norman, they have made the decision to withdraw their naming rights to the State of Origin series, after mutually agreeing with the NRL, that they should test the Origin value on the open market.
The NRL are already looking for a replacement for the naming rights of the series, with the value believed to be worth $3 million.
Harvey Norman, whose last year as the naming rights sponsor for the NRL will be ending next year, as both they and the NRL agreed to test the “commercial value” of State of Origin.
Paul Kind, who is the NRL's Director of Marketing and Commercial, confirmed that Harvey Norman would not be renewing their naming rights sponsorship of Origin.
“The Harveys won't be renewing,” confirmed NRL director of marketing and commercial Paul Kind.
“We discussed with the Harveys the incredible value of State of Origin and agreed to take it to the market from 2013.We're extremely confident there will be enormous inter
est. The naming rights haven't be available since 1998. The interest will be there from companies in all categories across sponsorship.”
Harvey Norman will not be absent from the game all together, however, as they are still involved in both the annual All-Stars clash, the Women In League Round, and are still an official retailer at club and Origin level.
John Slack-Smith, the Chief Operating Officer at Harvey Norman, said that the partnership between themselves and the NRL has been fantastic over the last 15 years.
“The partnership with the NRL and State of Origin over 15 years has been outstanding.
“We have been extremely pleased to be able to support the premier sporting event on the Australian sporting calender. We (Harvey Norman) still have a broad range of involvement with the game.”
New NSW coach Laurie Daley, believes that the NRL will be flooded with offers for naming rights of Origin.
“I'm sure companies will be climbing over each other to get the Origin naming rights,” Daly said.
“The ratings are amazing and the general amount of interest in Origin is huge. Next year will be no different.”