Carlton backs Group 2
By GREG WHITE
LOCAL rugby league has defied the trend in country football by re-negotiating a three year agreement between Group 2 and the Foster's Group.
While the Carlton Mid sponsorship is continuing with Country Rugby League it is becoming
increasingly rare for either of the major brewers to form the individual partnerships at grassroots level that were once the norm.
But local Fosters business development manager Vaughan Peters said the status of 'Carlton Mid Group 2' as arguably the strongest non-metropolitan competition in New South Wales had made it easier to 'sell' the concept to management.
"This is a tough market for football and just as tough in the commercial world," he said.
"The region is where we want to make further inroads and by combining our presence we can both go forward.
"I believe this agreement will take us toward a 10-year partnership by the time we start talking of a possible renewal."
Group 2 chairman Greg Mayhew has championed the association from the beginning.
"On one level there's a lot of prestige gained being allied with a company that's been involved in every major sporting event from Origin football to the Melbourne Cup," he said.
"But when you talk economics it means funds go directly to clubs by cutting the cost of affiliation in half.
"I never have any fear of talking up our association."
The new agreement will be more sophisticated than any previous 'sponsorship' arrangement.
"Actually, sponsorship is a term we rarely use anymore," Peters said.
"Company executive Ray Spurr will be working hands-on with the individual clubs to market our preferred brands while at the same time, assist the profile of local rugby league in every way we can.
"If anybody asks for help, Ray and I are here to give it as I want both parties to come out a winner."
A new Carlton Mid logo is being introduced to the playing strip of the domestic and representative teams with the company livery now available for use by the clubs at home venues.