SBW bringing in the big bucks for Sydney Roosters in 2013
THE Roosters may not have been crowing after their opening round loss to South Sydney, but the club's commercial chief Ted Helliar is laughing all the way to the bank.
The game attracted a record gate and drew record TV ratings, something Helliar put down almost solely to the return of Sonny Bill Williams.
"When asked to assess the value of Williams' return to the sport where he made his name, Helliar said.
"At this stage I can't put a dollar figure to it, but, you talk about game-wide, it is millions and millions and millions of dollars.
"We had a record round-one Sydney gate and record TV ratings - that is all off the back of the Sonny Bill factor. Our membership numbers are up 25% and that has definitely been Sonny.
"We have budgeted vast increases right across the board. We are looking at a record gate taking across the year. We were budgeting for a record membership and we hit targets before a ball was even kicked.
"I've been quoted as saying he is like the David Beckham of the Southern Hemisphere. He has got it all in terms of looks and physique and talent and personality."