Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery said despite the team’s stellar year, the club took a hit to its bank account. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery said despite the team’s stellar year, the club took a hit to its bank account. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

BOX SEAT: Falcons pitch new council sponsor deal

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the council had demanded some benefits as a part of the proposed sponsorship deal. The benefits were in fact proposed by the Sunshine Coast Falcons. They are yet to be publicly debated by the council.

CORPORATE box hospitality and match day shout outs could be among new perks for the council as it negotiates a sponsorship deal with a major football side operating at a financial loss.

The Sunshine Coast Falcons proposed a new partnership agreement with the council for 2020-2021 seasons after its "extraordinary season" last year took a bittersweet hit on its bank account.

According to Sunshine Coast Council's ordinary meeting agenda, the Falcons have requested another two years' support as they face financial challenges in comparison with other clubs who benefit from revenue of affiliated leagues clubs.

Falcons CEO Chris Flannery said the record-breaking season put the club in a small financial hole.

He would not disclose how much money the club was behind when asked by the Daily.

Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery said the club was fortunate to be sponsored by many dedicated businesses. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery said the club was fortunate to be sponsored by many dedicated businesses. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

"All of those wins obviously resulted in us having to pay more win bonuses to our players than was originally budgeted," he said.

"While this did result in a higher than expected playing budget, our sponsorship revenue also fortunately increased at the same time."

The council currently offers the club free use of Sunshine Coast Stadium, lighting usage, event support staff and a share in game-day profits.

Full access to Sunshine Coast Stadium costs up to $2985 for one day, according to the council's website.

Details of the previous sponsorship agreement, which covered the 2018 and 2019 seasons, were kept from the public when discussed in confidential session of a council meeting in February 2018.

In the new proposal, the Falcons have proposed eight amendments to the sponsorship deal which include exclusive use of a 12-seat corporate box at one match with food and drinks for each guest, and corporate hospitality opportunities throughout the season.

According to the council website, full access to Sunshine Coast Stadium could cost up to $2895 per day.
According to the council website, full access to Sunshine Coast Stadium could cost up to $2895 per day.

The new amendments also include having the council's logo and brand plugged on all jerseys, apparel, email signatures, letterheads and a website, as well as match day shout-outs by the ground announcer.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said the marketing brought in huge interest for the region after the Falcons had on field success in the past couple of seasons.

Mr Flannery said the council did not provide any cash contribution to the club.

He said any financial help was crucial as the Coast club missed out on a potential $1 million in revenue without a leagues club.

He said it relied solely on revenue raised through a combination of game funding from Queensland Rugby League, sponsorship and game-day revenue, which was split with council.

"A new Falcons leagues club or sports club that provided some passive income to the Falcons Football Club would obviously be a huge help for our club financially and culturally and would allow us to be playing on a level playing field with some of our opposition clubs," he said.

"At the same time, it would allow us to continue to provide and further enhance our various community engagement and charity work projects that we do each and every year."

The council spokeswoman would not disclose how much ratepayer money was forfeited to the club each year in venue hire.

Sharks legend Brett Kimmorley visits Sunshine Coast Stadium ahead of NRL game between the Sharks and Cowboys with Mayor Mark Jamieson (left).
Sharks legend Brett Kimmorley visits Sunshine Coast Stadium ahead of NRL game between the Sharks and Cowboys with Mayor Mark Jamieson (left).

"At the request of the Sunshine Coast Falcons, the financial information they supplied will remain confidential," he said.

The new sponsorship amendments will be decided in an ordinary council meeting on Thursday.


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