'Billabong Cup' born as GDFA pens lucrative deal

Football

THE Griffith District Football Association's senior competitions will go by a different name for the next two years after a lucrative naming rights deal was struck with the Billabong Bottle Shop.

The sponsorship will see all five grades - firsts, reserves, women's, under 18s and over 35s - fall under the new 'Billabong Cup' banner.

And further raising the local footballing stakes, the local bottle shop has also put up $5000 prizemoney per year for the winner of Griffith's first-grade competition.

"I take my hat off to Steve Foschi and the owners of the Billabong for jumping on board and helping us support this sport," GDFA president Mathew Curran said.

"We're over the moon to have a large, local company like that come on board. It's fantastic for us.

"The proof's in the pudding. The competition's growing, the teams are bulking up and they can see the progression that we're making.

"We're the largest sport in town."

The two-year agreement also includes an option to extend the sponsorship beyond 2015, and it is hoped the prizemoney on offer can turn the Billabong Cup into the Riverina's premier football competition by attracting more teams from outside Griffith to sign up.

"It's just a way of putting something back into the community," Billabong Bottle Shop's Steve Foschi said.

"This will be channelled through all the clubs from the seniors down to the kids. It is probably the biggest sport in Griffith and we see the potential for it to grow. 

"Hopefully a sponsorship deal like this can entice other teams from within the Riverina and beyond to help it grow.

"It also will help the association become a little more financial, so that if there's any very talented kids out there, they might be able to assist them and help them follow their dreams."

Meanwhile, Curran revealed the GDFA is no guarantee to return to Exies Oval for this year's grand final.

Last year's showpiece was hailed as the best yet with an excellent crowd turning out to watch the cream of the local crop across four grades battle it out for premiership glory.

"We thought it was a huge success," Curran said.

"We're looking down that avenue at the moment and we'll be going back to the clubs to discuss again to see who's interested in putting their hat into the ring to host it this year."

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