Every club has been contracted to promote the round under the deal brokered by the Queensland Government but on this occasion, the Broncos said a sponsorship clash made it impossible for the to attend.
The Million Dollar Kick was sponsored by insurance company Youi, which is a direct rival of NRMA, a long-time major sponsor at Red Hill. In a statement, Brisbane said they had ‘opted out’ of the event and their stance had been ‘fully endorsed’ by the NRL the previous night.
“The Brisbane Broncos’ partnership with major sponsor NRMA Insurance explains why the club opted against sending a representative to an event promoting a rival insurance brand as part of the NRL’s Magic Round,” the Broncos said in a statment.
“NRMA Insurance is one of the club’s contracted ‘protected partners’ – which means the club cannot take part in anything that promotes a rival brand in the same category.
“Once the Broncos discovered today’s (Wednesday’s) promotional event was sponsored by another insurance brand, the club opted out – and informed the NRL.
“The NRL fully endorsed that course of action as recently as last (Tuesday) night, and we make we make no apology for standing with our long-term partners NRMA Insurance.
“In saying that, the Broncos have done more than any club over the past month to help promote Magic Round across the club’s social media channels, promotional emails to members and player media appearances.”
The Broncos had two players, Matt Gillett and captain Darius Boyd, at the Magic Round launch on Tuesday while coach Anthony Seibold will conduct his regular pre-match press conference at Red Hill on Thursday, ahead of their clash with Manly on Friday night.
“This was one of the major promotions for Magic Round so clearly our preference would have been for all clubs to be represented,” NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said.
“However it shouldn’t take the focus off what will be a wonderful event for Brisbane.
“Our clubs will be participating in a range of initiatives and activities over the course of the round.”