NRL champions sign new naming-rights sponsor

Australian NRL rugby league team the Cronulla Sharks has announced solar energy company Opal Solar as its new naming-rights partner.

The two-year deal will result in Opal Solar’s branding featuring on the front of the Sharks’ jerseys during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The deal also covers the club’s U20 side.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Australian newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported that the deal would be worth around A$1m (€725,000/$768,000) a season.

“Opal Solar has a clear vision to become the No.1 supplier of solar panels in Australia and to continue to broaden their business and brand,” Sharks chief executive Lyall Gorman said. “Their hunger and aspiration to reach the very pinnacle of their industry is strongly aligned to our own club’s focus on becoming the club of choice in the NRL.

“In addition, their major focus on making our environment a better and healthier one is strongly aligned with our own club’s focus and commitment to being a catalyst for true social impact and change across our community.”

Opal Solar also holds a partnership with the Sharks’ NRL rival, the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs. The company’s branding features on the lower back area of the Bulldogs’ jerseys as part of the agreement.

The Sharks are the defending NRL champions and begin their 2017 campaign with a home match against the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday.