League defends Stobart tie-up
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Thursday 26 January 2012
The Rugby Football League is adamant that it will be better off in the long haul, despite selling the naming rights to Super League for nothing in cash up front. The RFL has done a three-year deal with the Stobart Group, the logistics and transport company famed for its red and green-liveried Eddie Stobart trucks.
More than a hundred of their trailers will carry Super League imagery, some specific to each of the 14 clubs, some generic.
"In terms of the exposure it will bring the game, it was too good a deal to turn down," said the RFL's chief executive, Nigel Wood, who estimated the value of the advertising over three years at £2.5m.
Not all clubs agreed with him. At a Super League meeting last week, five clubs voted for a deal with Betfair which would have brought them £750,000 a year up front, compared with about £1m each year they received under Engage Mutual Assurance's seven-year sponsorship.
"The majority view was that the game would be better off with this partnership with Stobarts," Wood said.
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