Holden rev up to sponsor Origin
THE NRL's pockets continue to be lined; the latest significant announcement being that Holden is set to sign on as sponsor of the code's jewel in the crown, the State of Origin series.
As part of a three-year deal which is expected to be finalised in the new year, Holden will sponsor the lucrative interstate series, as well as the National Youth Competition (under-20s) and the Australian team. The three-pronged sponsorship deal would ensure that Holden's backing of the NRL is second only to Telstra's recently completed $100 million-plus major sponsorship.
The Herald was told of the sponsorship deal just as the NRL closed its doors for the Christmas and New Year period. Significant decisions continued right up until the close of business:
- The NRL formally registered the contract of Sonny Bill Williams, but announced it would fine the Roosters over the club's handling of the negotiations to bring the former All Blacks star to the club;
- The administration confirmed it had ended its advertising association with rock giants Bon Jovi;
- And officials slapped sacked Roosters player Joseph "BJ" Leilua with a four-match suspension regardless of which club he signs with next season. Leilua, who is expected to sign with Newcastle, had been found to have sent a naked photo of his former girlfriend to two parties, and was placed on a one-year good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded.
While Roosters officials were "ecstatic" about Williams' contract being registered, they were still given a slap on the wrist by the NRL. Interim chief executive Shane Mattiske made direct reference to the fact that Williams' contract had been negotiated by the player and through a legal adviser, Stephen Gorry. Williams' manager, Khoder Nasser, is not an NRL accredited agent.
Mattiske said the ARL Commission had determined that the club should be sanctioned "over its failure to record and supply information in the required manner".
He said the amount of the fine would be assessed following a recommendation in the new year.
Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan said he did not know the specifics around the breach and the board would "consider it" when it is sent to the club.
Meanwhile, the NRL's director of commercial and marketing, Paul Kind, confirmed the administration would not be using Bon Jovi's This Is Our House ad campaign next year, ending the two-year association with the American band. "The decision to move away from the use of the song is about being able to promote more broadly across all levels of rugby league," Kind said.
Elsewhere, the Roosters have re-signed Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. until the end of 2016.