Ooh la la! Renault to sponsor Port

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 05 Maret 2013 | 12.50

Port Adelaide captain Travis Boak and vice-captain Brad Ebert during the announcement of Renault as Port Adelaide's new sponsor at the MCG. Picture: Hamish Blair Source: The Advertiser

The Renault Koleos diesel car. Source: Supplied

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NEW Power captain Travis Boak is watching the promises he heard on the future of the Port Adelaide Football Club unfold and justify his decision to stay at Alberton.

Port Adelaide is breaking its financial shackles and suburban image with a much-needed major sponsorship with French car giant Renault.

The three-year deal - that will pump at least $1.5 million into the Power's coffers - was finally confirmed at the MCG today.

And there are more corporate backers ready to embrace Port, which has endured three years of tough financial concerns.

"The club is heading in the right direction," Boak said.

"This is a great step forward - and I am proud to be part of that," added Boak who last year resisted significant overtures from Geelong and North Melbourne to return to his home base in Victoria.

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Port Adelaide chairman David Koch leads captain Travis Boak vice captain Brad Ebert coach Ken Hinkley and Chris Bayman of Renault during the announcement of Renault as Port Adelaide's new sponsor. Picture: Hamish Blair Source: The Advertiser

Renault's investment gives new coach Ken Hinkley the chance to build a significant football program at Alberton.

And the first-year AFL coach hopes that beefed-up program gives Port more on-field success so it returns to the MCG for football games, in particular finals, rather than sponsorship announcements.

Port will open its AFL premiership season on the MCG against Melbourne on March 31. It will be the Power's only home-and-away game on football's biggest stage.

"Every club wants to play on the G," Boak said.

"But you also have to earn the right to play here. We also want to play here in September (during finals) - and we don't think that is far away."

Port has not returned to the MCG for a final - or played any final - since its disastrous loss to Geelong in the 2007 AFL grand final.

Renault becomes the first multinational to link itself to the Power since telecommunications giant Vodafone walked away from AFL clubs in 2009 to concentrate on motor racing.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley, captain Travis Boak, chairman David Koch, Chris Bayman of Renault and Port vice captain Brad Ebert during the announcement of Renault as Port Adelaide's new sponsor at the MCG. Picture: Hamish Blair Source: The Advertiser

Port president David Koch today noted Renault's catchphrase - "Drive The Change" - fitted perfectly with the Power's determination to start a new era with a new image.

"We are undergoing some of the most significant change in our own long and successful history," said Koch at the presentation at the MCG.

"We have a new board, new coaching staff, a lot of new players and we are only a year away from playing AFL games at a stunning new home ground at Adelaide Oval. Renault is also changing, growing its market in Australia by 250 per cent in the past two years. We are a perfect fit."

Port's SA-based major sponsor from last season, VIP Services, is still negotiating terms to remain with the AFL club. The charity arm Foodbank will now lose its place on the Port Adelaide jumper but will remain a key sponsorship mission for the Power.

Renault will have its internationally known yellow logo appear on the back of Port's black home guernsey and the front of its white clash strip.

Mr Koch, new coach Ken Hinkley and new captain Travis Boak unveiled the new corporate backer for the SA-based club at the MCG today.

Port Adelaide was expected to name the sponsor two weeks ago, but the release of the Australian Crime Commission report on drugs and match fixing cruelled the timing.

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