Bundaberg launches multimillion-dollar sponsorship with NRL

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 1 April 2016

Bundaberg Rum has inked a three year multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the NRL, years after the brand parted ways with the sporting code.

The move sees the Diageo-owned beverage get name rights for the NRL's Super Saturday as well as securing broadcast deals with Nine and Fox Sports. The partnership also sees Bundaberg get exposure during the finals series, as well as across the State of Origin.

Marketing manager for Bundaberg Rum, Jodi McLeod, told AdNews that now felt like the right time for the two brands to get back together.

“We were a major partner with the NRL for five years up until 2012 and we made a decision at that point in time that we wanted to take investment out of sponsorship and invest harder behind innovations and building the brand at a trademark level,” McLeod says.

“It feels like now is the right time to get Bundy back into the fabric of Australian culture, and into times where mates get together,” she added.

For the brand this deal acts as a way to generate conversation, off the back of the footy but also through the use of social and digital channels.

“It's being part of the conversation with our consumer,” she says. “This sport is a huge part of the conversation for Aussie mates when they get together, especially on Saturdays.

"Its the most social day of the sport, so how can we be part of that conversation?

“From a digital perspective not just in real time conversations, the NRL has a massive social following and we are building our digital platforms as well and we thought how can we leverage those conversations?”

While McLeod wouldn't be led on the cost of the sponsorship, she says: “It's the biggest sponsorship deal for Bundy since we walked away form the NRL in 2012 and actually for Diego Australia, it's a significant investment.”

The partnership will see Bundaberg push its “Men Like Us Like Bundaberg Rum,” creative, with McLeod hinting that over the course of the partnership they'll be more creative to come.

The two brands are also currently looking at what responsible drinking programs the pair will partner on. Previously Bundaberg Rum implemented DrinkiQ – a training program to help young players make more informed decisions about drinking or choosing not to drink by educating them on alcohol and its effects. The brand also previously ran its Fine Form Awards, a consumer campaign that celebrated the importance and benefit of staying in control and at your social best at all times.

Bundaberg is also putting a greater focus on digital and content this year, as it begins to plan for the next financial year.

“There's a lot of really exciting things to come,” she says. “One of the other big focuses for us has been around digital and how we can build in that space. We have a web store, which we're driving and working with our retailers around how we build that, and are [building] a big social presence. The NRL has a big social presence, we have a big social presence but we're looking at how do we work together to build that conversation.

“Expect to see more of us,” she added.

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