By Martin Vedris
SYDNEY: De’Longhi Australia has extended its deal with the Rabbitohs as the club’s major Away corporate partner after joining the club in June this year.
De’Longhi will appear on the front of the away jersey and will also feature on the club’s home jersey and training apparel.
De’Longhi is in good company, joining the other corporate sponsors, Virgin Blue and NAB, on the players’ clothing as well as on home ground signage for the 2009 season.
The Rabbitohs 2009 jersey is already the most valuable jersey in the Sydney market, with the sleeve being the only property still left for prospective corporate partners.
A recent media conference at Redfern Oval was attended by al the club’s sponsors to celebrate the state-of-the-art training facility that the club will use for training in 2009, which is being redeveloped by the City of Sydney.
“Today we welcome back De’Longhi and Virgin Blue for next season, joining our suite of blue-chip corporate partners including NAB as our major sponsors,” Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said.
“These companies see value in being associated with the character and the community that embodies South Sydney.
“Today we have shown that we have tremendous support from some of Sydney’s, New South Wales’ and Australia’s biggest companies, with our three major partners and seven of our ten senior partners joining us here today.
“We have tremendous corporate support; one of the biggest, most passionate Memberships of any Club in the NRL; a brand new, state-of-the-art training centre at Redfern Oval being delivered in the new year; a ten-year Stadium deal with our partners at ANZ Stadium; plus strong links with the communities of South Sydney and Coffs Harbour through Souths Cares.
“If ever a Club was to demonstrate its strength in the competitive Sydney sporting market then we are doing that here today.”
De’Longhi Australia CEO, Paolo Albertoni declared that it was the club’s family and community values, as much as its high profile, that were attractive reasons to continue the relationship.
“The media coverage and exposure of our brand being associated with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2008 has been exceptional for us,” Albertoni said.
“It was the professionalism and caring spirit towards its sponsors, members and the community at large that has reinforced the reason for us to extend our sponsorship for another season.
“The first week we became a sponsor, I attended the Souths Cares Annual Charity event which epitomised some of the very good things this club does. Everyone is working for the good of everyone involved and there is a clear objective as well as an obvious will to succeed against all odds. This is attractive to us as a brand as our will to succeed in our given industry against huge odds is similar.
“To be part of the Rabbitohs sponsorship family is something that we could only measure and appreciate after the fact. The result has been beyond expectations so it is only natural to renew our sponsorship and build on the relationship that is clearly one that we are enjoying.
“As part of a distinguished group of major and senior partners, we wish the management, coaching Staff, players, sponsors and supporters of the South Sydney Rabbitohs a successful season next year, something we are proud to be part of.”
Tom Mitchell, De’Longhi Australia general manager, now famously made the call after announcing the signing in June, that the Rabbitohs would win at least two points after having won just one game out of 11 up to that point.
In their very first game in the De’Longhi branded Away jersey, the Rabbitohs went on to beat the fancied Auckland Warriors team on their New Zealand home ground and also won their next two games.
After the Rabbitohs’ winning streak started Mitchell said, “It would be nice to think we had something to do with it … but it was just good timing where the efforts of others have finally showed a good result for all interested parties.”
Now the team has all the confidence of full sponsorship support, some new players and a new training ground for the 2009 season.