ACT Brumbies land rich sponsorship deal with Plus500 for 2017 Super Rugby season
Advertisement

ACT Brumbies land rich sponsorship deal with Plus500 for 2017 Super Rugby season

The ACT Brumbies will unveil a new major sponsor on Tuesday as part of a multi-million dollar deal to link with brokerage Plus500 for 2017 and beyond.

It can be revealed the Brumbies have secured a new deal to partner with the firm, which has an annual revenue of $A371.45 million.

New Brumbies chief executive Michael Thomson says the club will "look at China, we'd be crazy if we didn't".

New Brumbies chief executive Michael Thomson says the club will "look at China, we'd be crazy if we didn't". Credit:Karleen Minney

The online trading platform for retail investors is the second brokerage to sign an Australian sports sponsorship in recent weeks, following the path of a deal for the Western Sydney Wanderers.

It comes as the Brumbies continue their push into China and lean on new chief executive Michael Thomson's experience in the market to have a presence in Asia.

The Brumbies interim chief executive Phil Thomson and general manager Simon Chester with China Rugby secretary general Cui Weihong.

The Brumbies interim chief executive Phil Thomson and general manager Simon Chester with China Rugby secretary general Cui Weihong.

Advertisement

Plus500, which is based in Israel and has entities in the UK, Cyprus and Australia, is set to replace Aquis on the front of the Brumbies' jerseys next year.

There were fears Aquis would use a termination clause in its sponsorship deal, but has committed through until at least the end of 2017.

Plus500 has jumped on board and it is believed the Brumbies will boast the most lucrative sponsorship jersey in Australian Super Rugby next year.

Plus500 chief executive Asaf Elimelech said: "The Brumbies is a natural fit for us as Australia represents one of our key markets, while the team shares a winning mentality and mutual passion for striving for success."

The Brumbies sent interim boss Phil Thomson and general manager Simon Chester to China last month on a business trip to investigate ways to break into the massive Asian market.

The Brumbies' major sponsor of the past two years, Aquis, is based in Hong Kong and the club is keen to play a match in China. E-commerce giant Alibaba has committed $100 million to grow rugby in China over the next 10 years.

Michael Thomson was the Greater China sports marketing director for Nike three years ago and the Brumbies hope his knowledge of the region will boost their mission.

"One of the things about the Brumbies, we need to get things right in Canberra," Thomson said.

"That is the most crucial things for us. One of the challenges we have is the size of our region.

"We've got good, loyal support here but we are constrained by the fact we're 500,000 people. As a result of that we need to look at how we expand the brand.

"The direct flights to Singapore open up doors and the Chinese are certainly keen on rugby with the $100 million that has been put in.

"We've got a brand that is recognised globally and that does provide opportunity for us. Lucky for me I spent two years in Shanghai working for Nike doing exactly those sorts of things.

"We'll definitely look at China, we'd be crazy if we didn't. But the first part of the focus has to be getting this community in Canberra sorted."

Chester has worked to maintain the Brumbies' sponsorship portfolio despite the club's off-field dramas this year, which was highlighted by an ugly legal battle between former chief executive Michael Jones and the board.

​Some Super Rugby clubs are continuing without major sponsors while the ARU is still trying to sell naming rights sponsorship for Super Rugby in Australia.