By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: Some days it’s great to be the sponsor of a football team. Currently in Sydney filming her special Australian themed episodes, TV queen Oprah took a timeout from greeting her adoring fans to gallivant on the Harbour with Oscar winner Russell Crowe. And which appliance brand went along for the ride? De’Longhi Australia.
De’Longhi has been a major sponsor of Crowe’s South Sydney Rabbitohs for two seasons now, and the coffee machine and home appliance specialist has renewed its partnership. That’s why when Crowe took Oprah out for a ride on his luxury launch, it was no surprise to see the De’Longhi name so clearly emblazoned on his jacket.
Russell Crowe and Oprah on Sydney Harbour. The De'Longhi logo is clearly visible on Crowe's right shoulder.
The South Sydney sponsorship has been a masterstroke of marketing for the Italian brand, with Souths touring the country during the NRL season promoting the De’Longhi name. With Souths now the glamour club of the league, positioned that way through Crowe’s star studded representation, De’Longhi has been able to present itself as a premium brand. Having two of the world’s most famous celebrities doesn’t hurt either.
“De'Longhi has been a valued major corporate partner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs since 2008, building year on year with both organisations learning from and supporting each other,” said South Sydney RLFC chief commercial officer John Richardson.
“As major corporate partners of the Rabbitohs in recent times, De'Longhi has been one of the driving forces behind the turnaround of the Football Club under the ownership of Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes à Court.”
As part of this association, Russell Crowe presented at De’Longhi’s national sales conference, held in Coffs Harbour, earlier this year. De'Longhi Australia CEO Paolo Albertoni predicted a strong 2011 for both his brand and the Rabbitohs.
"This association has been quite fundamental in driving consumer awareness of the brand. We believe that there is more scope to leverage off our existing association and to support our numerous marketing activities collectively .We expect 2011 to be a very exciting year and are confident that Souths will continue its strong performance and do very well."