A multi-million dollar deal has seen Bank of Queensland emerge as the winner of the hotly contested battle to secure principal naming rights sponsorship of the Queensland Reds.
Bank of Queensland will be back on the Reds jersey for another three years after upgrading a sponsorship relationship that began in 1985. The Bank became principal naming rights sponsor in 1997.
Under the terms of the deal the Bank will sponsor Queensland Rugby, the Bank of Queensland Reds and the Premier Rugby Union competition and have grassroots involvement supporting the Reds College and promoting Junior Rugby throughout the state.
Queensland Rugby Union chief executive Jeff Miller said Bank of Queensland had beaten several other bidders, including two major financial institutions, scrambling for the right to link with the Reds.
"This is one of the longest running sponsorships in Queensland sport so the decision to extend our relationship to 2005 was not just about money. Rugby is about loyalty, friendship and camaraderie, and that was a significant factor." Mr Miller said.
He said there were plenty of parallels between the two companies which led to a good strategic fit.
"We are both strong, traditional Queensland institutions - more than 120 years old, but we are both entering aggressive new growth phases."
"We are about to host the Rugby World Cup and the Reds are going places under new coach Andrew Slack, while Bank of Queensland is about to open 34 new branches around the State."
"If you look around here at Ballymore, you see the signs of the considerable investment that Bank of Queensland has in Queensland Rugby Union and the Reds and it is great to have them back on board for another three years." Mr Miller said.
Bank of Queensland Managing Director David Liddy said the Bank had built up a significant amount of equity and recognition in its relationship with the QRU.
"We believe this sponsorship delivers an enviable return on investment and the competition we faced in securing it is further proof of this." he said.
"The Bank is undergoing a major rebranding program to project it into a growth phase. The plan is for the partnership announced today to see both the Queensland Reds and Bank of Queensland leverage off the momentum of each other in their expansion."
The Bank recently launched its new corporate identity, which will feature on the 2003 Reds playing strip.
Today's agreement will see Bank of Queensland develop a program to significantly step up the leveraging of its sponsorship of Queensland Rugby.