The North Queensland Cowboys are the defending champs.

Leading brands in the consumer electronics industry are preparing for a big weekend of exposure and corporate hospitality as two major sporting events reach their denouement.

It’s hard to believe the rugby league season is already upon us – it still being January and all – but lo and behold, over in New Zealand, the 2015 Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines is being played this weekend.

The competition, now in its second year, sees all 16 NRL clubs battle it out over two tedious exhilarating days of contracted rugby league. Dick Smith is the naming rights sponsor of the tourney, which is being shown live on Fox Sports 1 (Foxtel Channel 501). The tournament starts on Saturday 31 January 2015 at 10:30am (all times AEDST) and continues through until 6pm that evening. It restarts on Sunday 1 February 2015 at 9:10am and concludes with the Tournament Final at 5:30pm.

Although it is only on pay TV (Sky Sports in New Zealand), Dick Smith does get quite a bit of traction from sponsoring this event, which has broad appeal on Australia’s eastern seaboard and over in New Zealand, where the consumer electronics retailer has seven stores and a stated ambition to open more.

A secondary sponsor of the event is Turkish appliance brand Beko. Keep an eye out for its signage around the ground if you happen to find yourself watching this monotonous brilliant event.

Hugging for Australia!

On Saturday evening in Sydney, South Korea will take on Australia in the final of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. Apparently there are moves afoot to expel Australia from the AFC, meaning this could be the Socceroos last chance to win a major trophy before descending back to the worthlessness of the Oceania confederation. This edition of the Asian Cup has been a runaway success and praise must go to corporate partners Samsung, Epson, Toshiba, Konica Minolta and Nikon (along with the several non-electronics sponsors, including Qatar Petroleum) for their alacrity in supporting this competition.

The big match begins at 8pm (AEDST) and is being shown live in HD on Fox Sports 4 (Foxtel Channel 505) and in SD on ABC1, except in Queensland, where it is being preempted by the coverage of the State Election, and as such is in SD on ABC2. (Unlike both the NRL and AFL Grand Finals, and the State of Origin, at least fans can watch the game live in HD.)

Following the conclusion of the Asian Cup, eyes will turn to the next exciting sporting competition to be hosted on these shores (as well as New Zealand), the 2015 Cricket World Cup. LG Electronics is a major sponsor of this truly global event, so expect to hear a lot from the Korean manufacturer through February and March.

Patrick’s tips:

NRL Auckland Nines Champion: Who cares? Brisbane Broncos
2015 Asian Cup Final: South Korea 0 – 1 Australia (AET)
Queensland State Election: LNP to form government with a reduced margin but Campbell Newman to lose Ashgrove.