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Hawks keen to extend Tassie sponsorship

27/03/2009 08:25:12 PM Comments (0)

Reigning AFL premiers Hawthorn want to shore up their off-field strength by signing a new sponsorship deal with Tasmania.

Hawks president Jeff Kennett said the club wanted to sign a new partnership with the Tasmanian government beyond their current deal, which expires at the end of the 2011 season.

The Hawks wear the Tasmanian government logo on their jumpers and have hosted games at Launceston's Aurora Stadium regularly since 2006.

They will host four home and away games there in 2009.

Kennett said Hawthorn wanted to extend the deal for another five years.

"We do that not just because we're looking for their financial sponsorship and support," he told the pre-game function before Friday night's clash against Geelong.

"We have developed a very special relationship with the people of Tasmania.

"You would have witnessed it on the Monday after the grand final when we took the team down there and were wonderfully received both in Hobart and Launceston."

Kennett said Hawthorn enjoyed a strong bond with the island state and Aurora Stadium, where they have won eight of the 11 games they have hosted over the past three seasons.

He said regardless of whether Tasmania was granted its own AFL team, the Hawks enjoyed a strong following on the island, as 26 per cent of Auskick-enrolled children there followed the Hawks - up from seven per cent three years ago.

The Hawks' membership in Tasmania stands at over 6,000, he said, when it was under 1,000 three years ago.

The Hawks are this year aiming to become the first Victorian club to break through the 50,000-barrier in terms of club memberships.

Hawthorn also announced they had signed a new three-year sponsorship deal with HSBC Bank.

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