Following the trend to online sportsbook sponsorships in Australia (see previous InfoPowa reports) actor Russell Crowe's South Sydney Rabbitohs announced a new corporate partnership with Betezy.com.au this week. The Rabbitohs join the Gold Coast Titans, Cronulla Sharks and Newcastle Knights as NRL Clubs entering into a joint venture with Betezy.com.au.
The NRL has approved the agreement between the Rabbitohs and Betezy, allowing Bunnybet.com.au to be launched. The new website will offer fans the full range of sports and racing with guaranteed better odds via online 24/7 or telephone. a club spokesman boasted.
The Rabbitohs now join six other NRL Clubs including the Brisbane Broncos, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Wests Tigers, along with the Titans, Knights and Sharks, who have already entered into sponsorship agreements with sports betting agencies.
The club will receive a guaranteed six-figure sponsorship plus advertising commissions based on turnover which will help generate revenues for the Rabbitohs, who like all professional sporting organisations across Australia, have been seeking new revenue streams which will enable them to operate at the highest level.
"We're delighted to be able to announce a new partnership with Betezy today," Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said. "NRL Clubs are trying to bring new revenues into the game, and we feel that sports betting is going to be an increasing source of funding in Rugby League over the coming years.
"We were approached by a number of sports betting agencies and we decided that Betezy was the best option for us to go with.
"We've not entered into this partnership lightly. We consulted our Members on this issue by sending them a Members First video over three weeks ago, explaining our options on sports betting, and the response we received was over 90 percent in support of moving ahead with a sponsorship agreement.
"We've been in consultation with the NRL to ensure we meet their policies regarding sponsorship and sports betting, and they have given us the green light to move ahead.
"We've said that to be able to control the affects of sports betting on Rugby League and our Club, then we need to be part of it, and that's what we are doing by entering this agreement with Betezy to create Bunnybet.com.au.
"We're very pleased with the arrangement we have with Betezy, the NRL has approved the agreement, and we look forward to developing a beneficial relationship via Bunnybet.com.au."
Betezy's General Manager Ryan Kay said, "The huge success of the TitansBet.com.au venture has demonstrated that all Clubs can achieve a major income stream from sports betting."
"We are extremely happy to announce the launch of Bunnybet.com.au today. The Rabbitohs have very loyal fans, who by moving their betting turnover to their Club's betting site can help ensure the success of their club.
"Fans will be able to be bet online or by phone in a very personal service where they are no longer treated like a number.
Kay also stressed that maintaining the integrity of Rugby League would be a major priority.
"We will be continually looking at integrity issues. We will be working with the NRL and the sporting bodies to make certain there is always integrity in the sport,'' said Kay.
"One thing we are very resolute about is making sure there are never any illegal gambling activities in the sport and we will work with everyone involved to ensure this is achieved."