The growing fan base of greyhound racing in NSW - a number reported as more than 1.1 million in public documents last year - have seen a new-look image on the screens of races in the past week.
It follows a ground-breaking agreement between GRNSW and wagering companies that has seen new rug sponsorships in NSW races across broadcast channels.
All eight race rugs now carry individual sponsorship from wagering companies.
GRNSW's commercial team worked with prospective sponsors for several months, with invitations extended to partners across GRNSW's wagering operator network, ultimately resulting in the new race rug sponsorship deal.
It was officially launched at the Bathurst race meeting on Monday, May 23, and from this point on at race meetings at NSW venues, runners and their handlers will be individually sponsored.
The sponsored rugs as follows: 1 Ladbrokes, 2 Zbet, 3 Palmerbet, 4 Sportsbet, 5 Elitebet, 6 TopSport, 7 Neds, and 8 BlueBet.
Each rug will carry the name of their respective sponsors, however the colours will remain the same (see photo). The rugs of the reserves, the 9 green and white, and the 10 red, white and blue, also remain the same, without sponsorship.
The handlers of each dog will also carry the respective sponsorship names and logos of participating wagering companies on their bibs.
"It's all about getting more eyeballs on our sport and in turn getting more people involved," leading trainer Jason Mackay said.
"I think this is yet another great initiative from GRNSW because it does just that. They are bringing new sponsors into the sport who are getting great value for their money and seeing their logos on TV and phones and the website, and it's something new and different which is attracting more people to take a closer look at our sport.
"The rugs and bibs look great and really it's another step in modernising greyhound racing, and it's perfect timing. The industry here in NSW is absolutely booming and this is just the latest initiative to continue that surge. And the money from the sponsorship is just going back into the sport."
The race rug and bib sponsorships will also see the sponsors promoted on thedogs.com.au website and in media form guides.
"As a part of our commercial growth strategy to deliver more funds for use throughout the industry, we offered wagering operators the opportunity to take individual sponsorships of the eight rugs," GRNSW's GM commercial and marketing Nick Babos said.
"We are pleased to say that the response from wagering operators was very enthusiastic and over the past few months we have run a process that has led to the agreed commercial terms between parties. This is another unique initiative from GRNSW, as we continue to look at all avenues to increase publicity and exposure of our industry, and already this latest project has received very positive feedback.
"It is innovation like this that has allowed us to grow prize money across the board, from big features races to grassroots levels. I congratulate and thank those wagering operators that have jumped at the chance and welcome them to a new visual era for greyhound racing in NSW. They surely will be the fastest moving billboards in our sport."
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
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