Bid chairman Steve Johnson.
Bid chairman Steve Johnson. Sarah Harvey

Corporate dollars set to roll in for NRL bid

BUSINESS support will flow if the Western Corridor NRL bid gets the green light.

That is the word from two of the prime movers behind the bid and they have the facts and figures to back it up.

Bid chairman Steve Johnson and bid patron, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, are convinced corporate support would be plentiful for an Ipswich based side should the NRL expand in 2018.

One of the objections raised to an Ipswich NRL bid is that the corporate support does not exist to sustain it, but Cr Pisasale and Johnson insist that argument is based on a fallacy.

"We've got over 46,000 businesses based in the western corridor," Johnson said.

"You've got to remember that you are playing a national sporting team event that has international recognition and branding.

"If you look at the sponsors of the other NRL sides, many are regionally based.

"The Roosters' sponsor Steggles is in Wulkuraka.

"Rugby league major sponsors are either regional brands looking nationally or international brands or national brands.

"It is your brand and your ability to attract attention that the sponsors want to come to."

The Western Corridor bid had negotiated with Japanese house builder Sekisui House to be a significant sponsor if the game had expanded in 2015.

"When you are a brand like that you are not going to attach yourself to a dream, but we will go back and revisit that if we are fortunate enough to get a licence and I am sure we will have no difficulty in getting a sponsorship of that ilk," Johnson said.

Cr Pisasale said he would play a proactive role in securing backers for the bid.

"This city has grown by $10 billion in 10 years," he said.

"We've got the largest corporates in the world here.

"There's Sekisui House, the largest house builder in Japan.

"We've got TNT, DB Schenker, Northline, Goodman ...New Hope Collieries, Delfin, Devine, Springfield Land Corporation and Amex just to name a few

"Once the Mayor gets behind it, the businesses will get behind it.

"I will show them how they can get economic growth for their business by supporting the bid.

"The Western Corridor NRL bid is not just an Ipswich bid.

"It is an Ipswich, Logan and Toowoomba bid...the heartland of rugby league."

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