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  1. #121
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    Dolphins set to sign Adventure Kings as major NRL sponsor on historic deal
    https://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/

    NRL expansion side the Dolphins are set to sign one of the richest sponsorship deals in rugby league history ahead of the 2023 season.

    A massive Australian company, which sells outdoor accessories, will be the first major sponsor of the new Dolphins NRL franchise.

    The Daily Telegraph has been told negotiations were complete between the Redcliffe-based Dolphins and Adventure Kings in a $5m front-of-jersey deal over three years.

    The sponsorship deal, which is to be announced on Wednesday, will be one of the richest in rugby league history. The company may opt to sponsor under another name, 4WD Supacentre.


    Officials from the new club were desperate to keep the new sponsor secret until Wednesday’s announcement.

    Former Storm and Queensland champion Cam Smith is the official Adventure Kings brand ambassador.

    Established in 2012, the company sells products ands equipment for anyone venturing into the great outdoors, including tents, generators, tools, camping gear, fridges, freezers, electrical products, energy packs, solar panels, camping tights, camper trailers and roof racks.

    Adventure Kings has stores in NSW, the ACT, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

    The company recently opened another giant store in Toowoomba. Retailers shop for Adventure Kings products at 4WD Supacentres.

    NRL management is delighted the new 17th club has already attracted a national sponsor.

    It is understood the deal will be worth about $1.25m a year – massive compared to Sydney clubs.

    The nine Sydney-based clubs have varying financial contracts for major sponsors but the deals average out to about $950,000 a season.

    With entry into the NRL approved and the Dolphin’s sponsorship program in full swing, all attention will be turned to players for the club.

    Behind-the-scenes negotiations are intense about luring some of the NRL’s biggest stars to Redcliffe to join the fledgling club from 2023.

    Melbourne’s Harry Grant continues to be linked to the Dolphins despite having a contract with the Storm for 2023.

    The man who pioneered the South Queensland Crushers’ entry into the national competition believes Redcliffe is far better placed to go the distance in rugby league’s big time.

    Former Crushers boss Darryl Van de Velde feels the Dolphins have far fewer obstacles than the significant ones that were in front of the brave – but ultimately doomed – Brisbane-based Crushers.

    Van de Velde led the charge for the Crushers to enter the now-defunct Australia Rugby League competition in the 1995 season before the club’s demise in its third and final year in 1997 when the ARL and Super League competitions combined.

    Now, the former Redcliffe coach believes the new Dolphins side has what it takes to survive in the national competition.

    The Crushers were introduced with three other clubs, the North Queensland Cowboys, Auckland Warriors and Western Reds, which was a challenge from the outset when trying to nab marquee players.

    “There are massive challenges ahead in relation to starting from scratch,” Van de Velde said.

    “They do have a team in the Intrust Super Cup but the difference is we (the Crushers) had to start from virtually nowhere and recruit players from scratch. It was a little bit different for us because they brought in four teams in the one year so we had three other teams competing in the same market.

    “What the original ARL clubs did was sign their players beyond that period so we couldn’t sign them, so we had the players who were left over.

    “Redcliffe are in a far better position than we were.

    “It’s important they start really positive and they have a pretty competitive team. They are in a position to do that because they have about 16 months to go.”

    The new Redcliffe-based club will enter the NRL in the 2023 season after winning the expansion bid last week, staving off competition from the Firehawks and the Jets.

    The Dolphins are well placed to survive through more than $70m worth of assets and $20m in cash reserves.

    Money men: Dolphins shocked by sponsor deluge

    By Robert Craddock

    The big sponsorship offers are already rolling in for the Dolphins who have been swamped by corporate support for their NRL entry.

    The Dolphins are just days away from naming their major sponsor for their 2023 entry to the NRL in a deal clinched before they were announced as the competition’s 17th team last week.

    But club officials have also been taken aback by the unexpected deluge of corporate interest which has followed their highly-publicised entrance to the big league.

    “We have been bowled over by the corporate side,’’ Dolphins general manager Terry Reader told News Corp.

    “We already had a number of agreements in place with our submission, but we have been amazed by the interest we have had from a number of big companies who want to be part of the club.’’

    Buoyed by the imminent signing of coach Wayne Bennett, the Dolphins stand to benefit from the “unlocking’’ of the Brisbane NRL sponsorship market which had previously been dominated by the Broncos.

    Where the Broncos would often sign exclusive sponsorships with one company in a particular sector, there is now greater scope for rival firms to gain an entry to the local NRL market.

    When the South Queensland Crushers emerged in 1995, they intentionally courted and signed rivals to Broncos brands – Fourex Gold to the Broncos’ Power Brewing and Qantas Airlines to the Broncos’ Ansett.

    “We have a number of backers who are not involved in rugby league already and that will mean we are helping to grow the game and will not cannibalise the current sides,’’ Reader said.

    Reader made no apologies for the club’s decision to eliminate Redcliffe from its name and simply settle for the Dolphins.

    He said the Redcliffe Dolphins would always exist in the second-tier Queensland Cup, but the Dolphins had a massive opportunity to have broader appeal.

    “We will honour or past but this is about the future. When players run out at Moreton Daily Stadium they see a sign saying ‘Always a Dolphin’ and we will always be the Dolphins.

    “People talk about the Bulldogs, the Raiders and the Roosters and they don’t usually mention the geographic region. That is how they are often referenced today.’’

    The Dolphins are keen to honour Redcliffe’s most famous former player, Arthur Beetson, in a club-launching first-round match with the Roosters that would be played for the Beetson Cup.

    They have already spoken to the Roosters about the concept, though there is also a feeling that the new club could be launched with a local derby against the Broncos.

    Beetson had an iconic presence with the Dolphins as the player of the year in the club’s first premiership year in 1965, and returned to lead them to a heartbreaking grand final loss in 1981.

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  2. #122
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    ‘I am a little bit concerned’: The Dolphins must make a splash on their marquee man - and soon
    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/

    Tell Wayne Bennett how to run a football club at your peril, but the greatest coach of all time will soon want to get a wriggle on.

    The Dolphins have barely made a splash in their first month as an NRL club, despite having almost $10 million to spend on the open market.

    NRL great Mark Geyer believes they need a big fish and they need one soon, with their options for a marquee man in 2023 shrinking by the week.

    The expansion club have - since November 1 - been free to negotiate with players coming off contract at the end of next season.

    Bennett’s name will attract plenty of budding talent but it’s the genuine superstars who are proving elusive.

    The Dolphins risk being used as pawns by stars chasing a pay rise, minus the hassle of changing clubs or moving cities.

    Eels Reegan Campbell-Gillard looked set to join with the Dolphins only to sign a monster extension at the Eels last week.

    Rabbitohs No. 6 Cody Walker and Storm hooker Harry Grant were linked to the Dolphins before their respective clubs moved and extended them.

    Melbourne and Newcastle were quick to remind the Dolphins that Cameron Munster and Kalyn Ponga are contracted and strictly off limits.

    Geyer was the marquee man for the Western Reds in their debut season in 1995 and admits he thought the Dolphins would have made several signings by now.

    “It’s been quite underwhelming, hasn’t it,” Geyer told foxsports.com.au.

    “We all thought November 1 would come and we’d see an avalanche of players tripping over to get to the Dolphins and I must confess I am a little bit concerned by the fact they haven’t made that big signing yet.

    “I don’t know what the reluctance is from players, I think it would a fantastic opportunity for anyone.

    “If there’s one guy I’d loved to have been coached by in my career, it’s Wayne Bennett - there’s an aura about the guy, his players love him.

    “So, he should get whoever he wants to get but I think they need to do it soon because before you know it, 2023 is going to be here.”

    Melbourne hooker Brandon Smith is enjoying his parade up the east coast, stopping at just about every NRL club to be wined and dined and told he’s the greatest footballer to walk this planet.

    Smith will lap up the attention, and so he should, but if anyone is going to cut through with the larrikin Kiwi and convince him to actually put pen to paper - it’s Bennett.

    Geyer warned becoming a marquee man comes with plenty of pressure, but he believes Smith is equal to the task.

    “I think he’d be awesome. Not only is he a fantastic player but he can play both hooker and lock,” he said.

    “He’s just a guy you’ve got to have in your team for energy. It’s not just what he brings to the field but what he brings away from the field.

    “He’s a larrikin, he’s got appeal, a lot of people can relate to him. He’s one of those guys that isn’t quite polished and that’s what the attraction is to him.

    “There’s three or four clubs chasing him pretty hard and whoever gets him will be a winner.

    “I think he’ll be a fantastic signing for Wayne Bennett and I think Wayne can get the best out of him.”

    Trent Robinson is also keen on the cheeky No. 9 and his signature looks a two-horse race between the Roosters and Dolphins.

    Outside Smith, potential marquee men include Christian Welch (Storm), Junior Paulo (Eels), Api Koroisau (Panthers) and possibly Anthony Milford if he can rediscover his best form at the Rabbitohs next year.

    “Christian Welch would be an asset to any club, he’s well spoken, he’s a fantastic player who is improving every year, he seems to get better with age, I think he would be an enormous buy,” Geyer said.

    “Junior Paulo is another one in that bracket who would be a fantastic buy. We’re starting to see the best of Junior Paulo as he’s getting older and wiser.”

    Bennett is keeping his cards close to his chest but Geyer said once he gets his marquee man, the rest will fall into place.

    “I think the attraction is there because of Wayne Bennett, I think he will definitely lure players to the Dolphins that maybe wouldn’t have gone there unless he was the coach,” Geyer said.

    “Their best signing was probably him (Bennett), I don’t think they’ll have much trouble attracting players.

    “As quick as they start making one big signing, the others will follow.”

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  3. #123
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    For all their “no pirating Qld clubs” bs they only seem to able to slice into their neighbors rosters. I disliked Bennett when he played, I disliked him coaching in Brisbane clubland back in the day, I hated him in Stupid League but I despise him now. Most of the Forum probably weren’t even born for a lot of that but for the few who were around then I’m sure you know what I mean. His touch is on the end of the BRL, the non-Murdoch days (I will happily explain that for those who don’t understand the power of Fox on our game), the Broncos demise, the Stain and Newie. Coach he can but cripple a club even more, imho. Rant over, let’s hope Tino isn’t fooled.
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  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    For all their “no pirating Qld clubs” bs they only seem to able to slice into their neighbors rosters. I disliked Bennett when he played, I disliked him coaching in Brisbane clubland back in the day, I hated him in Stupid League but I despise him now. Most of the Forum probably weren’t even born for a lot of that but for the few who were around then I’m sure you know what I mean. His touch is on the end of the BRL, the non-Murdoch days (I will happily explain that for those who don’t understand the power of Fox on our game), the Broncos demise, the Stain and Newie. Coach he can but cripple a club even more, imho. Rant over, let’s hope Tino isn’t fooled.
    You were alive when that decrepit old monkey skeleton played?

  5. #125
    Captain gotitans101_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    For all their “no pirating Qld clubs” bs they only seem to able to slice into their neighbors rosters. I disliked Bennett when he played, I disliked him coaching in Brisbane clubland back in the day, I hated him in Stupid League but I despise him now. Most of the Forum probably weren’t even born for a lot of that but for the few who were around then I’m sure you know what I mean. His touch is on the end of the BRL, the non-Murdoch days (I will happily explain that for those who don’t understand the power of Fox on our game), the Broncos demise, the Stain and Newie. Coach he can but cripple a club even more, imho. Rant over, let’s hope Tino isn’t fooled.
    Well said TT!

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhelm View Post
    You were alive when that decrepit old monkey skeleton played?
    Sad to admit but was playing when the decrepit old skeleton was playing but fortunately at West Panthers and not Souffs, the Fish nor the real enemy Brads Boys … sorry DH but couldn’t resist :-)
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  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    Sad to admit but was playing when the decrepit old skeleton was playing but fortunately at West Panthers and not Souffs, the Fish nor the real enemy Brads Boys … sorry DH but couldn’t resist :-)
    What was he like? Hope you biffed him good.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by willhelm View Post
    What was he like? Hope you biffed him good.
    lol … would like to have a great story but I was a handful of years younger and too busy trying to keep my head on than worry about protected species
    Last edited by Titanic; 19-11-21 at 11:57 PM.
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  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    Sad to admit but was playing when the decrepit old skeleton was playing but fortunately at West Panthers and not Souffs, the Fish nor the real enemy Brads Boys … sorry DH but couldn’t resist :-)


    Yea. I don't like Bennett either. For the Wally Lewis and Super League stuff first. But fundamentally I never liked how he treated the media which by extension I saw as robbing the fans and game of information and buzz.

    But I also saw his pull in the media and rugby league world to really add some spice and credibility to the Dolphins. It's my dearest hope to see the Broncos and Dolphins at each others throats.

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  10. #130
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    Unless Bennett can jag Ponga he is looking pretty thin on marquee Queenslanders and more like the Marquis de Sade.

    I do have a Redcliffe story though. Once we played them at the Reddy Showground before their field was ready and after a ferocious narrow win we went back to their new clubhouse where we had to stand in a queue to feel Tony Obst’s (a pretty fair centre for them) biceps before going inside. Those were different days … lol … their hooker was none other than their current Chairman lolololol
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  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    Unless Bennett can jag Ponga he is looking pretty thin on marquee Queenslanders and more like the Marquis de Sade.l
    I'm starting to feel that too. This was a moment where the futures of the Titans and the Dolphins hang in the balance. Tino would be a tremendous signing for either club.

    All eyes on Ponga.

    I'd love to compare the Titans first wave of signings to what the Dolphins eventually land.

    Bailey, Prince, Campbell, Rogers, Laffranchi...

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  12. #132
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    Without being in the picture it's hard to tell but the snoozy Bennett going into retirement factor has got have a lot to do with it plus in all honestly and with due respect to the wonderful citizens of the Peninsula, money is the only serious attraction for any non local.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    Without being in the picture it's hard to tell but the snoozy Bennett going into retirement factor has got have a lot to do with it plus in all honestly and with due respect to the wonderful citizens of the Peninsula, money is the only serious attraction for any non local.
    That's the way I see it too, how many players go to a club because of him and then a year later he's gone. Kind of defeats the purpose. I'm just happy that the Dolphins Marquee signing will no longer be from the Titans. I expect to lose Smith but that has to be playing on his mind and is he the player/person you build your club around?

  14. #134
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    Dolphins have signed Felise Kaufusi apparently

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobes View Post
    Dolphins have signed Felise Kaufusi apparently
    Great signing.....for clubs trying to retain their players.

    Player on a decline IMO


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