Salary packaging and novated leasing specialist, Smartgroup, has announced its major partnership with the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) and St George Queensland Reds.
The news comes as the Reds score a convincing win against the Melbourne Rebels in a pre-season match, and days before they kick off the season against the Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.
"There's so much to like about the Reds, " says Smartgroup senior executive Dave Adler. "Their support for the Queensland community runs well beyond the metropolitan areas, and their work to grow the participation of women in sport is evident in the number of Queenslanders representing Australia in Rugby 7s debut at the 2016 Rio Games (and upcoming inauguration of the sport at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next year)".
"We choose our affiliates carefully," Adler says. "For us, it's important to partner with people-centric organisations that recognise the value of teamwork and operate with integrity. We're driven by innovation and improvement, and we make a point of surrounding ourselves with like-minded organisations."
Smartgroup is no stranger to Queenslanders, holding a key Federal Government contract with strong ties to regional Queensland since 1999, and securing a major public sector contract in 2011, which cements Queensland as a critical market for Smartgroup's group of companies.
"2011 was the turning point for us in Queensland, and strengthening the presence of our services and demonstrating to Queenslanders the seriousness of our commitment to them is a priority for our organisation."
While Smartsalary is the brand the fans will get to see on the Reds apparel and within Suncorp Stadium, other Smartgroup companies are expected to see great benefits through the partnership. These include Smartsalary's novated leasing arm, Smartleasing; Selectus, a leading salary packaging provider in the private education sector, and Autopia – a novated leasing specialist for the corporate market – that, like the Reds, is dedicated to driving gender diversity through its affiliation with UN Women.
QRU Deputy CEO, David Hanham, welcomes the partnership, saying "We're delighted Smartgroup has chosen to partner with the QRU for the next three years. The Queensland Rugby Union's reach allows our partners to benefit from our intimate relationship with Rugby stakeholders across the state as well as providing multiple opportunities with our elite Rugby teams like the St George Queensland Reds.
"We're able to assist Smartgroup's direct relationship with the corporate Rugby community throughout Queensland. The large business network Rugby enjoys is a very good match for Smartgroup's product range and the QRU is keen to maximise this new partnership in the coming years."