The jokes about it will begin, but for the Panthers, this is no joking matter, as they have finally secured their new major sponsor, with OAK Milk signing on.

Since Phil ‘Gus’ Gould became the General Manager of the club, the emphasis has been on trying to re-form strong foundations with the community, and the man himself believes that this new sponsor shows that the club is moving in the right direction.

”We want Penrith to stand for a lot of things important to the community out here,” Gould said last night.

”And one of those things is to provide young kids with every chance to be involved in rugby league in the area.

”We’ve got some pretty grand plans for the next few years.

”The Parmalat company that produces OAK makes a lot of dairy-based products, and it is obviously important for them to have a good association with families, and kids.

”We brought their people in to see our plans for the future, and they liked where we were going with that.

”I’m determined to make the Penrith Panthers a huge part of the community, and to use rugby league as a platform to help make people’s lives better, and more fun. Our community program is getting the club involved with the people in a number of ways.”

In relation to the sponsor, Gould credit’s the Panthers Commercial Manager Phil Moss, for doing his part in getting the sponsorship over the line.

”Phil worked on it for a month,” Gould said.

”We’d been told OAK might be interested in doing something, and it went from there. Phil handled 90 per cent of it – I just came in at the death. OAK sees Penrith and rugby league as a great fit for their brand.

”We had a very long association with Sanyo as our major sponsor, and after that ended I was always very confident we would pick up another strong backer. That has now happened, and we can get on with the season which is not far off now.”

By ricky

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