Downer retain Auckland Nines naming rights

Engineering group Downer has kept the naming rights for the National Rugby League’s Auckland Nines for the 2017 and 2018 editions.

The nine-a-side knockout tournament, which is held annually at Eden Park in Auckland, will be known as the Downer Auckland Nines.

Downer first stepped in to take the naming rights of the 2016 edition of the tournament after original sponsor Dick Smith plunged into administration.

“It is particularly pleasing to see a strong brand like Downer supporting rugby league and it will be wonderful to have them back on board for the Nines for the next two years,” said Michael Brown, the NRL’s chief of commercial.

According to the NRL’s official website, the first three editions of the tournament have attracted a total audience of 247,840 people to the ground, and a television audience of 1.4 million.

The 2016 tournament was won by Australian outfit the Parramatta Eels. However, the Eels were later stripped of their title due to a breach of the NRL’s salary cap.

Downer was also the match sponsor of May’s Test match between Australia and New Zealand.

Source: SportsPro

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Brisbane Heat switches principal partner

Queensland Cricket has sealed a major partnership with member-based financial services provider CUA.

The three-year deal sees CUA replace Linc Energy as principal partner of Big Bash League franchise Brisbane Heat.

Added to the that, the company will be a premier partner of Queensland Cricket and a major partner of the Heat’s Women’s Big Bash League team.

CUA branding will be visible on both BBL and WBBL team’s playing and training uniforms.

Interim CEO of Queensland Cricket, Michael Kasprowicz, said: “We consider this to be one of the most significant partnerships that Queensland Cricket has entered into, and so we are very excited about working alongside CUA.

“Cricket is booming in Queensland and throughout Australia so we look forward to continuing to grow our game with the enthusiastic backing of our corporate partners.”

CUA chief, Rob Goudswaard, added: “This agreement will see our two member-based organisations work together for mutual good by promoting sport, family entertainment and grass-roots community activities.

“While giving CUA a real presence in the sporting landscape in Queensland, this will also help raise CUA’s profile nationally, with some 200,000 people attending Brisbane Heat matches last summer and another 5.8 million tuning in to watch them on free-to-air TV.”

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ARLC approves $1.5m NRL club payment

The Australian Rugby League Commission will give NRL clubs advance payments of $1.5 million despite ongoing talks over a new perpetual licence agreement.

A memorandum of understanding was sent to all clubs in April by the commission which, when signed, required a binding funding agreement to hold each club to a perpetual license to participate in the NRL.

Boosted by the league’s new broadcast deal, the NRL will give each club that signed the MoU an up-front payment of $1.125 million. This will be followed by monthly instalments to reach a total of $1.5 million by October.

ARLC Chairman, John Grant, is quoted in the Canberra Times. “A new perpetual licence is a very significant step forward for the NRL clubs and the game and deserves the appropriate amount of time to be applied to its consideration.

“The commission is aware that clubs have budgeted to receive funding in the current year and believe that by making the advance, any financial pressure they might come under can be removed while we work towards an agreement.

“This funding will be available immediately as a loan against future grant payments to give the clubs the cash flow they need during the negotiation process.”

Source: Canberra Times

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Melbourne City drive away with Nissan partnership

Melbourne City are the first beneficiaries of Football Federation Australia’s decision to allow clubs to sign automotive partners for the upcoming 2016-17 season with the A-League club partnering with Nissan Australia.

Until recently, clubs had not been able to sign automotive partners given the Hyundai’s A-League naming rights deal which began when the A-League debuted in 2005.

As part of Nissan’s brand new official automotive partnership with City, the automaker’s logo will be visible on the sleeve of the A-League team’s home and away jersey and the sleeve of the W-League team’s away jersey. Added to that, strong Nissan branding will be seen at Melbourne City’s home

To further drive the start of the local partnership, the #23 Nissan Nismo Altima Supercar, driven by Nissan Motorsport’s Michael Caruso, will bear Melbourne City branding at this weekend’s Townsville 400 round of the Supercars Championship.

Nissan Australia's crossover of sporting interests: Melbourne City's logo on a Nissan Altima Supercar.

Nissan Australia’s crossover of sporting interests: Melbourne City’s logo on a Nissan Altima Supercar.

Nissan is in the middle of a a five-year global partnership with Melbourne City’s parent company City Football Group. The five-year deal, which began in July 2014, saw Nissan become the first global partner of the company’s football network, an organisation including Nissan majority owned J-League club Yokohama F. Marinos alongside English Premier League club Manchester City and Major League Soccer’s New York City FC.

“Nissan has a global partnership with City Football Group, which includes teams in the UK, Japan and the USA, and today’s announcement is a natural progression of our strong association with, and support of, the world game,” said Richard Emery, Managing Director and CEO of Nissan Australia. “Nissan Australia is excited to work with Melbourne City Football Club to further strengthen both our brands and commitment to Australian sport.”

Melbourne City FC CEO, Scott Munn, added: “Nissan are, like us, committed to sustainability and innovation and that translates in a very real way to benefits for Melbourne City fans.

“This partnership will see a range of promotions and activities that bring fans closer to Melbourne City and to Nissan. By support for both the men’s and the women’s team, Nissan is demonstrating a real and deep commitment to, and passion for, football.”

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Sydney to host 2018 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships

Sydney has won the hosting rights to the 2018 International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) World Championship.

Twelve teams will be competing for the Championships which will be played at Sydney’s Olympic Park from August 4-10, 2018.

“IWRF is excited to bring our Wheelchair Rugby World Championship to Australia for the first time. Australia is a strong competitor with a long history in our sport, having participated in every World Championship and Paralympic Games competition,” said IWRF President John Bishop.

“Many of us have great memories of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, and we look forward to coming back to the Sydney Olympic Park and the great sports fans of Australia. DSA put together an excellent bid and I am confident they will give us a fantastic World Championship.”

The successful bid was submitted by Disability Sports Australia (DSA), which made a formal announcement at the 2016 GIO Fierce 4 Rugby Wheelchair Rugby Nationals in Sydney.

“The success of our bid is a milestone for Australian sport and comes with significant support from our partners the Australian Rugby Union and Australian Defence Force,” says Jenni Cole, CEO of DSA.

“We are delighted that the championship will bring the world’s most elite wheelchair rugby competition to the Australian public.”

Sydney was the host of the 2000 Paralympic Games, the first time Wheelchair Rugby had full medal status at a Paralympic Games. Australia is the current World and Paralympic Champion, having taken the Gold medals in London in 2012 and Odense in 2014.

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Supercars host Asian reps in Townsville

Source: AAP & Sports Business Insider

Supercars’ pursuit of international venues continues with representatives of two southeast Asian motorsport circuits visiting this weekend’s Townsville 400.

Representatives from Thailand and Malaysia are guests of the Australian championship.

The pair are taking in the north Queensland race in what is a strong sign of the interest in hosting a race in Asia.

Supercars was scheduled to hold its first race on the streets of Kuala Lumpur next month but the event had to be cancelled amid a legal dispute between local promoters.

Despite that cancellation, Supercars remains confident of racing in Malaysia next year with a deal in place to visit Kuala Lumpur until 2019.

Thailand has been mooted as a possible venue, with Supercars chief executive James Warburton seeking new international destinations.

“We always said we had ambitions to have two races in Asia by 2017,” Warburton said.

“We are considering a number of options and, while there is no certainty of anything, there is a lot of interest in our series.”

Other destinations that have been linked to Supercars are Singapore, Japan and even a return to China, where the championship raced for one year in 2005 at the Shanghai International Circuit.

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