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Holden sponsors NRL, Kangaroos and State of Origin

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    At the Detroit motor show, Devereux told News Limited the company was ramping up its marketing spend.

Holden snatches NRL sponsorship from Toyota in multi-million dollar three-year deal.

Holden’s advertising jingle from the 1970s – football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars – is poised to come to life again.

Holden has snatched NRL rugby league sponsorship from market leader Toyota – which sponsored the code from 2008 to 2012 – giving it naming rights to the State of Origin series, the Kangaroos national squad and the Under 20s competition.

The three-year multi-million-dollar deal announced today is Holden’s first football sponsorship in 15 years and believed to be worth more than twice as much as the car maker spends on V8 Supercars.

Holden is understood to have spent $10 million over three years to become the official automotive partner of the NRL, compared to an estimated $20 million spent by Toyota to sponsor the AFL in its latest three-year 2012-to-2014 deal.

The NRL sponsorship deal comes in Holden’s most important year in decades. A new Commodore is unveiled next week before the model bows out in late 2016 after a 38-year run, outlasting the Kingswood's 20-year reign.

Holden posted its lowest sales in 19 years in last year’s all-time record new-car market, but the company has vowed to fight back against the scrum of imported competition. “This sponsorship is the strongest indication yet that Holden is back, bigger and better than before,” chairman and managing director of Holden Mike Devereux said.

“We are very excited about this partnership. It’s exactly what the Holden brand needs to cement our success this year, and into the future.” Holden used the NRL sponsorship announcement to repeat its commitment to manufacturing cars in Australia until 2022, while rival Ford has to date not commented on its future beyond 2016.

“Over the next decade Holden is investing over a billion dollars in our Australian manufacturing future to continue making world class cars and today we have made our first move to substantially enhance our marketing by partnering with the NRL, one of Australia’s top football codes.”

At the Detroit motor show, Devereux told News Limited the company was ramping up its marketing spend – and its TV exposure – as it aims to reverse its sales slide. In 2012 State of Origin Three was the highest rated program nationally, with 4.03 million viewers, the NRL said. 

“The Holden State of Origin is the jewel of Australian sport,” Devereux said. “Amazing game, millions of viewers, interstate rivalry and supreme athleticism.”

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling
 

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 13 comments

  • As hard as it may be for you lot to believe, companies are allowed to advertise. They are even allowed to make a profit! The goverment itself spends millions every year on sponsorship deals with sporting clubs through the TAC. Without advertising how are they supposed to improve sales?

    Matt of Melbourne Posted on 04 February 2013 12:25pm
  • Not only did they get a huge grant but then almost the next day it was announced that they had done a new wages deal with the unions re way above the award.Me thinks General Motors are having a little bit of a lend of Australian Government,aye.I am all for helping to look after Aussies workers jobs but this mob are doing things a little under handed or telling porky pies.

    Darkie McMilla of Qingdao China Posted on 03 February 2013 8:36pm
  • The government should save our money by cutting out the middle man, shutting Holden (Ford & Toyota) down, giving the workers their 120k per year for life and sponsoring the NRL (etc) themselves.

    Miles of Australia Posted on 02 February 2013 11:37pm
  • Richard of Adelaide & bwright, you're both wrong. First off, every government in the western world subsidizes its car manufacturing industries in one way or another. The Australian model is nothing special at all. Secondly, from the tone of self righteous indignation in your comments, can i ask what your remarks would have been, had Holden failed to market their product effectively, thus wasting the precious dollars that you begrudge them so vehemently? Surely you can see that when a company is given help by a government, they have a responsibility to the taxpayers to sell some bloody cars?!?! Seems to me that the companies that accept the dough but fail to build a credible marketing campaign might need a smack or two... Just a thought

    Soz of Melbourene Posted on 02 February 2013 9:59pm
  • Yes Large cars are in decline. Typical 'Tall Poppie Syndrome' in Australia. I know it's only natural for people to rubbish, well anything, really but it's not 1948 with a handful of manufacturers and 50% market share. We have the most competitve market I believe in the world. With so many makes & car companies adding another niche every second week, no one car is truly dominant. Collectively Toyota sells extremely well, granted, with a vast array of models that people seem to embrace but we're in the 21st century now with so many choices. Ford has a great product in the Falcon but alas let down by their marketing mainly. The Commodore is still in the 'Top Ten' and the VF will surely improve it's standing. Holden has many talented Designers, (with input into many GM products), Engineers and renowned for its handling and suspension calibrations. SUV's market increased by more than 20% but none in the 'Top Ten'. Let's enjoy that we have so much choice, I don't want to see our Industry die for I believe we have so much to offer. I hope Holden do well from this sponsorship & continue to be a part of the Aussie landscape. I love cars and can enjoy beautiful design & the joy they bring.

    Car Nut of Newcastle Posted on 01 February 2013 10:42pm
  • Who said the Commodore was gone by 2016? From what I know they just did not confirm what the second car line would be. Get you facts straight, very trashy reporting Josh!

    Josh Dowling's very angry Boyfriend Posted on 01 February 2013 7:19pm
  • This is totally ludicrous. How can GMH hold their hand out for tax payer funds and then with the other hand pay it out to these organisations as sponsorship deals? I have supported tax payer funding to help the car industry support employment in this country but this is totally out of order. Funny how they managed to fund sponsorship of Team Vodafone at the height of the GFC when their parent company was holding their hand out for billions in the States as well. This is farcical and the Government should be asking for the equivalent amount of tax payer funds be refunded.

    Richard of Adelaide Posted on 01 February 2013 9:29am
  • If Holden did not need the investment from the Government then it should have handed it back (and maybe a tax break given to the peole of australia) - not wasted it on some game naming rights! This stunt confirms why I have not bought a holden motor car!

    bwright Posted on 01 February 2013 8:19am
  • why do you keep stating the Commodore is gone in 2016? Not once has anyone actually officially told you this! Stop dribbling and write some real supportive articles, like how your looking forward to driving the new VF and the new Falcon when it arrives, here's the catch try and write it without self predicting the demise of our industry!

    Stop publishing this "writer" Carsguide! of Perth, WA Posted on 01 February 2013 12:38am
  • Alan Watson,i thought dole bludge's don't pay any tax.if the tax payers money(300 millions) worth it.when holden and toyota going invest over 1 billions dollars back into australia.don't you think it is worth it.that's right rednecks always be rednecks.

    mark goss of brisbane Posted on 31 January 2013 5:51pm
  • Is that my tax ?

    Alan Watson Posted on 31 January 2013 2:42pm
  • How predictable that Dowling would be fawning all over this, by none other than his sweet, precious Holden. You must be so proud, Josh. If it was about Ford, you'd be telling everyone who would listen that it is all no good because Ford is about to die.

    Mark Kevin Posted on 31 January 2013 2:28pm
  • Honestly - meat pies and kangaroos Josh. I think they've evolved past that don't you? Billion dollars of investment in Australia, 4 dollars for every 1 invested by the government and you have to preface your report with very old perceptions of Holden.

    Dave of Adelaide Posted on 31 January 2013 11:29am
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