For the past seven years it’s been impossible to miss. State of Origin fans have become all too familiar with the giant VB logo brandished across NSW Blues players’ chests.
Thankfully, those days are numbered.
Today it was announced that the ‘VB NSW Blues’ will soon be no more; Victoria Bitter and parent company Carlton United Breweries will walk away from its $1 million front-of-jersey naming rights deal with the club at the end of the year.
This is undoubtedly a win in our campaign for #BoozeFreeSport, a win for you, and a win for Australian kids.
Even better, according to today’s reports, while the identity of the replacement jersey sponsor remains a mystery, it’s rumored that the new jersey sponsor won’t be a brewery.
Any change that removes such an unholy and guileless display of alcohol from a major sporting team’s jerseys, and in turn young, impressionable viewers, is a positive one.
But before we get too excited, it’s understood that Lion, who took over VB’s sponsorship of the Australian Cricket Team earlier this year – albeit slightly more subtly – is ready to roar in as part of the Blues sponsorship family once the VB deal runs dry.
And so perhaps fittingly, while welcome, and sweet, today’s news is still a little bitter.
It’s time for the alcohol industry and the NRL to hear us, and the more fans we have, the bigger our impact.