By Patrick Avenell

It’s rare that a company can dominate both the small appliance market and the National Rugby League, but De’Longhi has done just that through its product offerings and its sponsorship of the South Sydney Rabbitohs — a partnership that was today extended for two more years.

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De’Longhi will continue as the major away sponsor, appearing on the front of the famous cardinal and myrtle jersey when Souths are on the road, while Kenwood will continue as the club’s sleeve and training corporate partner.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs finished the 2012 NRL season in third position, and will play the Melbourne Storm this Saturday night in a mouth-watering semifinal.

“De’Longhi and Kenwood are premium brands in their respective markets and we’re very proud to be continuing our association with both companies,” said South Sydney Football Club CEO Shane Richardson.

“Our aim has always been to associate ourselves with premium brands, particularly amongst our family of major corporate partners.

“These renewed corporate partnerships represent a vote of confidence in what we are doing and achieving as a Club on the field as well as off the field and in our local communities through Souths Cares, and we look forward to working with the teams at De’Longhi and Kenwood for the long term.”

De'Longhi sponsored happiness! (image supplied courtesy of NRL Photos)

Mirroring Richardson’s enthusiasm was De’Longhi Australia CEO Paolo Albertoni. Although a Juventus fan from his boyhood days, Albertoni has embraced the Rabbitohs and has become a very knowledgeable rugby league fan.

“We are very pleased to extend our association with the South Sydney Rabbitohs for another two seasons with both our brands De’Longhi and Kenwood,” he said.

“We have been sponsoring Souths for the last five seasons and we see real value coming from this association in raising the awareness and equity of our brands in Australia.

“Our partnership goes a lot further than a brand logo on a jersey. We share the same values, we collaborate at all levels, and we are always looking for better ways of leveraging this great relationship on the field and off the field.”

Also chipping in was De’Longhi sales and marketing supremo Tom Mitchell, who has been a lifelong fan of rugby league and understands its potential as a marketing communicator with the Australian public.

“As we traditionally sign our sponsorship deals year-by-year, a significant measurement of how important our partnership is with the Rabbitohs this time is shown by us signing up for another two years for both De’Longhi and Kenwood.

“This new 2-year deal was only made possible by the mutual trust and the enormous effort put in by all stakeholders to make the sponsorship work off the field, and for the De'Longhi family with senior country managers from around the world experiencing this relationship first hand when they visited Sydney in June this year.

“The value in working together to make a difference through sport and community with passion and discipline is an exciting challenge.

“It looks like the good work off the field is starting to be reflected on the field; another bonus to why the new agreements will take us to seven years with De’Longhi and four years with Kenwood.”