Brumbies extend Plus500 deal

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies have locked in a naming rights sponsor until the end of 2020, with Plus500 signing on for another three years.

Plus500 started their partnership with the ACT outfit in 2017 and the company, which provides online trading services to retail customers and provides trading in CFDs on a range of financial markets, has now locked in a deal which will ease financial pressure on the Brumbies for the foreseeable future.

That is a big vote of confidence in the direction of the organisation, according to Brumbies CEO Michael Thomson.

"We think it's a fantastic vote of confidence in the organisation and where we are trying to take it and we also think it's a great statement for rugby union in ACT and southern NSW," he said.

"We have been through some challenging times - just to have surety as well in terms of the financial side of the organisation and to not be in a position where we are chasing a naming rights sponsor every year.

The Brumbies will have the same sponsor on front of their jersey for the next three years. Photo: Getty Images"And also the financials themselves are really important for us because it allows us to do what we want to do."

The easing of that financial pressure has allowed the Brumbies to drop their membership prices across the board by roughly 10 percent, a move that has caused an uptick in memberships sold compared to this time last year.

"We've moved from the 18 team season to 15 teams, three conferences, which means we are going to have eight regular home games, including the Waratahs and Crusaders, which are the two big ones.

"We dropped prices across the board by about 10 percent - a little bit more than 10 percent in some categories.

"Our take-up has been better than this time last year, we just closed same seat cutoff and we are a reasonable amount (compared to) where we were last year.Tom Banks is a rising star in Canberra. Photo: Getty Images"Overall, people's responses have been really positive - we continue to drive membership and we will continue to focus on being out and about and engaging with the community."

Thomson said the Plus500 commitment would only help boost the bottom line of the only Super Rugby team expected to turn a profit in Australia for the current financial year, as attention now turns to building on a squad that surprised in claiming the Australian Conference title this year.

"This year we will turn a small profit - about $14,000 or so - and we will be the only Super Rugby team in Australia to do so, I would imagine," he said.

"Now we have got finalisation of what Super Rugby looks like, once we get the appointment of a CEO at the ARU that will probably bring a bit more stability.

"For us, our squad is going to be stronger next year than what it is at the moment.

"We have got some guys coming through like Tom (Banks) and obviously we have David Pocock coming back, Christian Lealiifano is playing well and there are a couple of other guys going into the group.

"We will keep building on what we've got and Laurie coming back gives us more rugby knowledge than what we had this year and Dan is slotting into the job as head coach well, so there's a lot of upside."