The National Rugby League (NRL) financial backers Delta Beverages are working on rebranding the league with the likelihood that the Lion Lager brand will not be used to sponsor the league.
According to Delta Beverages marketing manager Patricia Murambinda the partnership between the beverage company and the NRL was being renewed following the expiry of the three year deal at the end of last season.
Without revealing details of the revamped deal, which she said was going to be announced at a Press conference this week, Murambida said they were looking at redecorating the NRL in line with findings of a study they carried out.
“We are renewing the sponsorship this year, finer details will be availed at a Press conference. We are looking at rebranding the league in line with research findings,’’ said Murambinda.
Asked on which areas they were looking at improving having learnt from the experience of the three year joint venture with the Noddy Kanyangarara-led NRL, she could only say there were areas of improvements under consideration, which would only be revealed during the official launch.
Delta Beverages have in the past utilised the Lion Lager brand to fund the NRL but with the iconic beer brand said to be fading in popularity, the sponsors seem to have decided to make use of another brand to bankroll the inter-cities league.
Kanyangarara said they were still waiting to hear from the sponsors with regards to the renewal of the sponsorship, which is understood to be for another three years.
Meanwhile, the nine-team league gets underway on 26 April and will run up to 4 October barring any disruptions. An exciting fixture is on at Hartsfield Rugby Ground in Bulawayo during the opening weekend when Old Miltonians and Western Panthers clash in a Bulawayo derby.
In a bid to spread the game to all parts of the country, the NRL decided not to relegate Zvishavane Bulls who finished at the bottom of the league last season in their first year in the top flight and instead have added Mutare Sports Club. The development has brought the number of teams in the league to nine.