It was an 11th hour rescue deal that couldn’t have come quick enough for the Penrith Panthers club. As negotiations broke down with previous sleeve sponsor Parkview, the Panthers were quickly back in business when existing minor sponsor Nepean Motor Group stepped up their support and took the sleeve sponsorship role for the 2008 NRL Season.
Offering a 2 year deal, the local Nepean Motor Group is hoping to capitalise on their new level of visibility in 2008 and grow their local Penrith business in-line with the success of the Panthers. Former Panthers hooker, Shannon Donato now business development manager for the Panthers helped broker the deal which has the Panthers scrambling to get their 2008 playing strips re-done before season kickoff.
Jersey manufacturer ISC is working overtime to get everything in place for the Panthers as they prepare to begin their range of trial games for 2008. The Panthers get their official NRL season underway against the Broncos in Queensland in Round 1 – in what should be a great grudge match, with Joel Clinton and Peter Wallace now in Brisbane colours and former Queenslander Petero Civoniceva now the great hope for the Panthers – so expect plenty of fireworks.
Who said that an NRL side in Victoria would never work? On the back of their Premiership win in NRL 2007, the Melbourne Storm have announced a 3 year deal with major vehicle manufacturer Suzuki to be the sleeve sponsor for the next 3 years. It adds to an impressive linup of corporate backers for the Storm, with Medibank / Host Plus theirÂ major sponsors and additional deals with Reebok sweetening thingsÂ – independent NRL audits have found the Melbourne Storm’s sponsors to be amongst the most recognised in the game.
An estimated value on the Storm’s advertising power is nowÂ around $2 million AU – a huge leap from previous years, as big name corporatesÂ fight to get a piece of the Storm’s hot real estateÂ – their well recognised strip. With their value tripling in the last three years and a new stadium in 2010 – theÂ Melbourne StormÂ look like a solid investment for the future. It all adds weight to our recent article about the health of the NRL and future expansion plans.
To capitalize on their growing brand, the Storm have just released a new away strip (pictured above) for their 2008 NRL season – helping their sponsors stand out even more with their increased TV coverage. Teams such as Canberra and Newcastle would kill for the financial backing the Storm now has. With a prodominantly white top, it certainly stands out from the rest.
And they said it would never work in Victoria? The Storm now have a top coach, a playing roster littered with stars and a growing corporate brand that is highly sought after. Well, maybe it was only Denis Fitzgeralnd that said the Storm would never work and they have been throwing egg on his face ever since.