Melbourne have stirred up controversy by announcing a major sponsorship deal with one of Australia‘s leading casinos.
The news that the Storm will partner with Crown Melbourne, comes amid the NRL‘s latest scandal, allegedly involving Bulldogs forward Ryan Tandy and an illegal betting scam.
It also follows a smilar deal between the Rabbitohs and Sydney casino and Star City.
Crown’s logo will appear on the front of the Melbourne jersey next season as part of a lucrative deal between the pair.
“I think you’ll have those that wish to comment but I think we need to emphasise what it is that we wanted out of the relationship and that is a home for our supporter base,” club chief Ron Gauci told reporters.
“If you think about what Crown has to offer as an entertainment complex … this is a great place to consolidate those activities.”
The agreement will also see the Storm use the casino’s entertainment complex as a new ‘home’ for fans.
Said Gauci of the deal: “Melbourne Storm was very clear that we wanted more than just a major sponsorship.
“We wanted a relationship with an organisation that could provide a home for our supporters and a proposition that would deliver world class entertainment experiences at one location.
“It is a huge bonus that Crown is a major national tourist destination.”