CENTRAL West Rugby Union chief executive Peter Veenstra and GrainCorp's central NSW regional manager Wayne Earl are hopeful of a bright association between their brands, starting with the upcoming football season.
Veenstra was at Dubbo yesterday to formally announce the partnership between Central West and GrainCorp which will see the iconic farming brand come on board as naming rights sponsor for the region's second-tier competition.
Blowes Clothing will continue their involvement with the top grade.
While the current arrangement is just for the 2014 season, both Veenstra and Earl are confident the relationship will be extended down the track.
A total of 16 teams will take part in the GrainCorp Cup, which will again be split into a northern division (Dubbo Rhinos 1, Dubbo Rhinos 2, Geurie, Wellington, Yeoval, Coonabarabran, Coolah, Trangie) and a southern division (West Wyalong, Condobolin, Canowindra, Molong, Blayney, Grenfell, CSU Orange, Cumnock).
Veenstra said in an age when sponsorship was vital to the ongoing success of sport, having GrainCorp on board is a significant boost for rugby in the region.
"As an organisation we operate off three revenue streams - sponsorship, gate takings and affiliation fees - and the gate takings only come around at semi-final and grand final time," Veenstra said.
"That's why it's vital we have good sponsors on board and it's great that GrainCorp have joined with us.
“They have been involved with rugby at a Country NSW level with the Country Cockatoos for a number of years and it’s great to have them involved now at a local level
“The 2014 season is shaping up as a big one at both Blowes Clothing Cup and GrainCorp Cup level, with Mudgee joining the top tier and the Rhinos having two sides in the second tier both pretty exciting developments.”
For Earl, the decision to link with Central West Rugby was an easy one.
“A lot of our clients live around the areas that this competition covers and we all know that rugby is a pretty strong part of the culture of these farming communities,” he said.
“As a company we like to be involved with the communities so it was a bit of a no-brainer for us to become involved with what is now the GrainCorp Cup.”
The competition will commence on April 5 in the northern division, with Dubbo Rhinos 1 to host Yeoval and Dubbo Rhinos 2 to meet Wellington.
The other two clashes will see Geurie on the road to Coonabarabran and Trangie opening their season against Coolah.
In the southern tier, which kicks off on April 26, West Wyalong and Condobolin will meet in their local derby while Canowindra hosts Molong, Blayney will tackle Grenfell and Cumnock will travel to Orange to face the CSU Aggies.