Mineral drilling contractor DDH1 has thrown its support behind rugby league club Canterbury Bulldogs, which will be coming to Perth next month with other NRL clubs for the inaugural Nines competition.
National mineral drilling contractor DDH1 has thrown its support behind rugby league club Canterbury Bulldogs, which will be coming to Perth next month with other NRL clubs for the inaugural Nines competition.
The two-day tournament is a first for Australia, previously held in Auckland, and will run on February 14 and 15 at HBF Park.
DDH1 Drilling, established by Matt Thurston and Murray Pollock in 2006, will become the first Western Australian business to enter into a sponsorship agreement with the Nines tournament, with the company logo to appear on the Bulldogs’ jerseys.
NRL WA general manager John Sackson told Business News the event was a terrific opportunity for growing the game in WA.
“It’s a two-day festival of rugby league and there’s a big emphasis on entertaining, free-flowing football but also a real festival atmosphere with music and colour,” he said.
“It’s also a good opportunity for DDH1 to get their brand out across the country and may lead to growing interest in WA companies not only investing in rugby league but also exploring opportunities with the NRL clubs as well.”
If a club can win both the Nines tournament and the NRL Telstra Premiership later in the year, it will collect $1 million in prize money, which Mr Sackson said was a good incentive for NRL clubs.
The Nines tournament will be followed by two major NRL matches in Perth, including the grand final replay between reigning premiers Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders at HBF Park on May 23.
“The more elite football we can get here, the more media coverage it generates and it really shines a spot on the game of rugby league here in Perth,” Mr Sackson said.
“That has a real flow-on effect in terms of winning over the hearts and minds of kids and parents to engage with rugby league and participate in rugby league.”
He said NRL clubs undertook many community engagement activites when they came to Perth, including visits to schools and junior clubs as well as conducting coaching master classes.
“From a game development point of view … it certainly has a significant impact on growing the game and growing corporate interest in the game, and from a tourism point of view, it ticks a lot of boxes from the government’s perspective as well,” Mr Sackson said.
Perth will also get a third major NRL match this year, with Canterbury Bulldogs hosting Melbourne Storm on July 18, also at HBF Park.
Bulldogs chief executive Andrew Hill said in an announcement today the club was determined to create a footprint in WA.
“With the upcoming NRL Nines leading into taking a home match to HBF Park on July 18, we have shown how determined we are to form a strong link with WA and to become the club of choice for people within the state,” Mr Hill said.
“We are delighted that DDH1 Drilling have partnered with us and have recognised that we both share the same desire to offer a quality product and work closely with the community.
“We look forward to working with DDH1 Drilling in the lead up to the Perth Nines and beyond.”