Demons fan delivers major sponsor - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons fan delivers major sponsor

By Sam Lienert 20/03/2009 02:42:34 PM Comments (0)

An opportunistic supporter has delivered AFL club Melbourne a new co-major sponsor with Russian computer security firm Kaspersky signing up for the next three years.

The news follows last week's signing of tyre company Hankook, with Demons chief executive Cameron Schwab saying the two deals would together be worth about $5 million over three years.

Schwab said the initial contact was instigated by a passionate fan newly employed by Kaspersky who wanted to help his club, which is working to eradicate a huge debt.

The supporter, Andrew Mamonitis, was in Russia to be introduced to Kaspersky management and took the chance to sell the Demons' cause.

"He took the time out, they were having dinner at a Kazakhstan restaurant with belly dancers, to wander up to the new managing director of Kaspersky," Schwab said.

"To tell him about his passion for the Melbourne Football Club and explain that the Melbourne Football Club ... would be a great vehicle and that his football club that he's loved all his life didn't have a sponsor."

The company contacted Melbourne through the club's membership hotline.

"They've sold 25,000 memberships and have now sold one major sponsorship," Schwab said.

Kaspersky, which tops the consumer markets in its field in Russia and China, is starting to expand into Australia.

Schwab said the sponsorship deals placed Melbourne in the upper middle range compared to other AFL clubs.

Significantly, after being the last club to secure a sponsor for this season, they do not have to go to a difficult market again next year.

"This is at a time when a number of clubs at the end of this year will be seeking major sponsorship, I think seven clubs fall out (of contract) at the end of this year," he said.

"We're going to have the confidence that perhaps we haven't enjoyed for some period of time as we move into the next phase of our club."

Saved from making a $3 million loss last season only by a massive fundraising campaign, Schwab said the club was now positioned to make a profit in 2009.

"What this enables us to do is one of the things that Melbourne needs to do to rebuild, which is invest back in its infrastructure, it hasn't done that for some time," Schwab said.

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