National Rugby League (NRL) club Melbourne Storm has announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with car manufacturer Suzuki.
Suzuki, promoted to a major sponsor of the club in April 2010 in wake of the Storm’s salary cap scandal, will extend its sponsorship of the club by an additional three years and retain its logo placement on the sleeves of the club's playing shirts in an agreement thought to be worth US$250,000 annually.
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Furthermore Suzuki will continue to act as an official partner of the club in the motor vehicle category.
"In its 101-year history, Suzuki has developed a culture of long-standing partnerships and we are very excited about continuing with Melbourne Storm. Just as Suzuki weathered the recent global financial crisis and came back with a record sales year in 2010, we are confident Storm will re-establish itself as an NRL power," said Suzuki Australia general manager, Tony Devers.
Devers added: "The NRL remains one of the highest profile sports in the country and Melbourne Storm is the perfect vehicle for Suzuki to promote its rapidly growing image."
Melbourne Storm chief executive officer, Ron Gauci, said, "We are thrilled that Suzuki has signed with us for another three years. Not only have they invested in the club throughout our long partnership, but importantly they have demonstrated exceptional support through both good and tough times.
“We return this support through unrivalled brand exposure and integrated marketing opportunities. Storm members and fans have every reason to be excited about the future of this great club and, with the ongoing commitment from a business like Suzuki, we are confident of a remarkable season ahead.”
In 2010 Melbourne Storm admitted to having committed systematic breaches of the NRL's salary cap over the past five years. As a result of the team's indiscretions, NRL chief executive, David Gallop, stripped the Storm of its 2007 and 2009 season wins, fined the club AUS$1.7 million, deducted its eight points already won the 2010 NRL season and barred the team from any additional points, guaranteeing Melbourne Storm last place.
Additional fallout of the Storm's fraudulent activities saw a number of sponsors including Host Plus, Members Equity Bank and Skins drop their sponsorship of the club.