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NRL backs Premiership sponsor Telstra by moving to end Warriors sponsorship with Vodafone

NRL backs Premiership sponsor Telstra by moving to end Warriors sponsorship with Vodafone
August 17, 2020

In a move to protect Telstra, the naming rights sponsor for its Premiership, the NRL has reportedly advised the New Zealand Warriors that it must end its long-term sponsorship with rival telco operator Vodafone.

Relocated to NSW during the completion of this year’s NRL Premiership, the move to end the 22-year relationship between the Warriors and Vodafone could see the Warriors lose out on income believed to be in the region of $1 million a year.

As reported by the New Zealand Herald, the sponsorship could be halted as a result of a sector-related clause in the NRL’s contractual agreement with Telstra, which currently runs between 2018 to 2022.

According to SportBusiness Sponsorship research, the NRL’s sponsorship with Telstra is worth $15 million-per-season to the League.,

The New Zealand Herald quoted an unnamed source as advising “the Warriors have been advised their naming rights deal with us is in conflict with the game-wide rights of Telstra.

“The NRL aren’t going to grant an exemption beyond the current season. All they offered was a derisory non-naming rights option as an alternative.

“We’re gutted … the NRL has told us our name isn’t welcome. This feels like another example of the Warriors getting the rough end of the stick.”

The sponsorship conflicts we recently highlighted when the NRL demanded the club took down Vodafone-branded goalpost protectors at its training ground in Gosford.

NRL acting Chief Executive Andrew Abdo told the NZ Herald the situation was “unfortunate”, advising that the NRL had been working with the Warriors for years on the conflict of interest that exists in its sponsorship deal.

Abdo explained “Telstra has been the naming rights partner of the Premiership for a long period of time and invest significantly in the game

“It’s unfortunate that the Warriors and Vodafone have not been able to come up with a mutually beneficial solution, despite the NRL working closely on potential options to try and retain Vodafone as a partner for the Warriors.”

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