By Claire Reilly
The Harvey Norman State of Origin will next year be known by a new name, with the retailer today confirming that it has ceased its agreement with the NRL as naming rights sponsor for the flagship Rugby League series.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Harvey Norman chief operating officer John Slack-Smith confirmed that the well-known Australian retailer would not be renewing its contract with the NRL, which it has held for more than a decade.
“It was a mutual agreement with the NRL that we won't be continuing as a presenting partner for the 2013 series,” said Slack-Smith.
“The partnership with the NRL and State of Origin over 15 years has been outstanding. We have been extremely pleased to be able to support the premier sporting event on the Australian sporting calender. We [Harvey Norman] still have a broad range of involvement with the game.”
This year, the competition was sponsored by Harvey Norman – who bought the rights to have the games titled the “Harvey Norman State of Origin” – as well as Fujifilm, XXXX and VB. As part of its sponsorship, Harvey Norman was given significant exposure on signage at the stadiums and on television coverage.
It is unclear what the motivation behind contract termination was, and there has been no confirmation of a new naming rights sponsor by the NRL. Current.com.au has contacted Harvey Norman for comment.