Universal Pictures Australia has become a sponsor of the South Sydney Rabbitohs National Rugby League (NRL) club owned by actor Russell Crowe. The studio will promote films on the sleeves of the players’ jerseys, starting with Crowe’s own upcoming release, ‘State of Play’ for the first 11 matches of the season.
Universal will also receive corporate hospitality and members’ activations as part of the corporate partnership, with extensive advertising signage around the 80,000-capacity ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park.
“We’re delighted to announce the signing of our fourth major corporate partnership for the 2009 season, with ‘State of Play’ becoming our sleeve sponsor for the first half of the season,” Rabbitohs chief executive Shane Richardson said. “We have agreement from the NRL to allow ‘State of Play’ to adorn our jersey for the first 11 weeks of the competition, allowing us to sell the sponsorship property for the remainder of the season past round 11.
“We did a similar sponsorship deal in 2005 when Cinderella Man appeared on the front of our jersey. It has been a successful sponsorship model for both us and Universal Pictures and we’re delighted to be able to partner with them again to promote one of their movies. It is a reminder that there are innovative ways to approach the marketplace when looking for companies to sponsor your club, and this is one way of doing it.
Mike Baard, managing director of Universal Pictures Australia, said: “Universal Pictures is delighted to support the Rabbitohs with this sponsorship. ‘State of Play’ is one of our most anticipated releases this year and given it stars Russell Crowe, there is a natural fit with branding the film alongside the club, especially as the target audience for the film is aligned with the support base of the NRL.”
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