It was news that was coming for a while given earlier reports and it has finally been confirmed, with the National Rugby League and one of Australia’s biggest motoring brands in Holden, in a game-wide sponsorship that will give competitions in the NRL a fresh new look.

With a 3-year partnership confirmed by both Holden and the NRL, the car manufacturer will provide support to all levels of the game including grassroots footy, all the way up to the Australian Kangaroos side.

The partnership will cover all aspects of the game, including:

• Holden will become the major sponsor of prizes for the game’s annual Monster Raffle, which has raised more than $2 million for grassroots clubs across Australia. This year Holden will donate two cars as the first two major prizes;

• The Under 20s competition will become the Holden Cup and Holden Under 20s State of Origin and will remain focused on developing not only the incredible playing talents of the players but also their off-field career education;

• State of Origin – the biggest, most breathtaking and most watched annual series in Australian sport – will become the Holden State of Origin Series;

• On the international stage, Holden will partner with the Australian Test team, with the Holden Kangaroos embarking on an exciting season that includes Canberra’s Centenary celebrations Test against New Zealand and the Rugby League World Cup starting in October in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France.

The NRL’s interim Chief Executive, Mr Shane Mattiske, said that the deal is a sign of the NRL moving forward for the future, with the partnership one that can provide opportunities galore.

“This is such an exciting time for Rugby League. We have in place a strong foundation for growth and there are tremendous opportunities ahead for everyone in the game, including our corporate partners,” Mr Mattiske said.

“It’s significant that Rugby League now has two of the biggest and most respected brands in Australia, Telstra and Holden, as its two biggest corporate partners in a sponsor family that supports all levels of the game.

“The opportunity to develop strategic partnerships with people and organisations who share Rugby League’s breadth of community involvement is an important part of our vision for the game and in Holden we have a partner who embodies that commitment.

“This is a real partnership that works across the game and it is one that all fans can get behind.”

Mr Mike Devereux, who is the Holden Chairman and Managing Director, is also looking forward to the future partnership with the NRL, as he looks forward to what is ahead for the venture.

“This sponsorship is the strongest indication yet that Holden is back, bigger and better than before, with a long-term commitment to building and selling cars in Australia and investing in Australian talent,” he said.

“Holden has committed to help Rugby League develop in local communities through fundraising opportunities for local clubs and assisting in developing NRL stars of the future through the Under 20s competition.

“The Holden Cup has a fantastic approach to preparing young players for life beyond sport – no work or study, no play.

“The Holden State of Origin is the jewel of Australian sport – an amazing game, millions of viewers, interstate rivalry and supreme athleticism.

“And I’ll be heading to one of Australia’s favourite games in one of Australia’s favourite cars, the new VF Commodore.”

By ricky

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