The famous NRL club Manly Sea Eagles were thrilled with their new sponsor Lottoland last year. The agreed seven-figure sum aimed to secure the side’s future in the NRL league. Part of the deal meant that the Sea Eagle’s beloved home would be rebranded in a hope to go on to revitalise the stadium.
Brookvale Oval – The History
The Brookvale Oval has been the home-ground of the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles for more than 70 years - since the team were granted first-grade status in 1947. Since then it’s gained three grandstands along the western and southern sides of the ground, increasing capacity to around 23,000.
The Oval was also the home of the Sea Eagles’ most successful season – their unbeaten run in 2011 leading them to the premiership win.
Lottoland has been the Sea Eagles’ official sponsor since February 2017. The seven-figure deal was well-received by both players and fans who felt it was the right move for the progression of the club, providing a great opportunity.
Over recent years the Oval hadn’t been in the best condition and had earned nicknames from other teams, like ‘The Graveyard’. It has even been reported as “one of the most outdated suburban NRL stadiums still in operation”. Along with $25 million of state funding, the club hoped the deal would provide the essential funds needed for a full upgrade, as well as a new 4000 seat stand.
In the early stages of the deal, financial officer Neil Bare declared the deal would help “save rugby league” in the region. Bare had this to say regarding the deal:
““This is the first step towards the upgrades… At the moment we are in the submission stages of an upgrade for Brookvale Oval. This sort of support from a key corporate partner we need to move forward with those plans.”
Tim Clearly, Chief Executive Officer of the Sea Eagles, also had this to say:
“We are excited to secure this commercial partnership and see it building strongly over the long term with both parties working together on joint community initiatives. We see this as a pivotal step to further ensuring the Sea Eagles continue to play home games on the Northern Beaches”.
The Advantages for Lottoland
Lottoland are still relatively new in Australia. However, the time they have been trading here has been very successful. Lottoland saw the sponsorship deal as a way to give back to the community that have aided their success.
Luke Brill, Managing Director of Lottoland Australia said:
“When Manly approached us with the opportunity to rename the historic Brookvale Oval to Lottoland and help keep the Sea Eagles playing in Manly, we jumped at the chance”.
Perhaps the biggest change that the partnership meant for the club was the renaming of the Brookvale Oval to Lottoland.
The Impact of Recent News
In March this year, a new bill was introduced to parliament aiming to “outlaw so-called "synthetic lottery" services, including Lottoland's”.
As well as having the naming rights to the Oval, Lottoland is also a prominent TV advertiser. Despite being put under pressure in parliament, Lottoland has made it clear to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles that their sponsorship deal will be honoured, proving that this really is a strong partnership between both parties.
A spokesman from Lottoland said:
“We stand by the commitments we have made to community and sporting groups, including our sponsorship agreement with Manly”.