Tasmanian AFL bid gains major sponsor - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tasmanian AFL bid gains major sponsor

31/07/2008 11:09:43 PM Comments (0)

The Tasmanian government's unlikely bid to be granted an AFL licence received a major boost with the announcement of a $4 million, three-year sponsorship deal.

Confectionary brand Mars will rename their chocolate bar the Believe Bar for the month of September, as part of a deal to become the proposed new club's inaugural major sponsor.

Tasmanian economic development minister Paula Wriedt said the deal demonstrated the island state was attracting the business backing to support the emotional case of its historical links to the sport.

"I think this announcement today of a major new sponsor for Australian Rules football that hasn't been involved before really does show that we can put together a serious business case," Wriedt told the Nine Network.

"We've been given all these criteria from the AFL that we'd be expected to meet, as I presume the other bids would be expected to meet, and we are slowly ticking them all off.

"We may be a small state population-wise but we have a long proud history of Australian Football being played in Tasmania, we are passionate supporters of the game and increasingly we're seeing that we can put together a sustainable business case."

The Tasmanian government has mounted a concerted campaign to be granted their own AFL team, despite the league stating that its priority is to create new teams on the Gold Coast and in western Sydney.

The new Gold Coast club is scheduled to enter the AFL in 2011, with a western Sydney team expected to follow in 2012.

But, despite its lukewarm response towards the Tasmanian overtures, the league has agreed to allow the Tasmanian government to submit a bid to the AFL Commission later this year.

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