Australian NRL rugby league team the Penrith Panthers has agreed a deal for BlueBet to take on naming rights to its home stadium.

The two-season deal is effective immediately and will see the venue rebranded as BlueBet Stadium. BlueBet, which was founded in 2015, is a wholly Australian-owned and operated betting company.

The Panthers’ home opened in 1967 and had been known simply as Panthers Stadium since 2018. Panthers chief executive Brian Fletcher said the decision to sell naming rights for the 22,500-seat venue was taken amid ongoing difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous naming-rights sponsors of Panthers Stadium have included Credit Union Australia, Centrebet, Sportingbet and Pepper Group. The latter’s deal expired in 2017.

Fletcher said: “For a number of years Panthers intentionally retained the naming rights to our home ground. However the significant and ongoing financial impact of COVID-19, combined with the considerable investment from BlueBet, made this a fantastic opportunity we simply couldn’t pass up.

“We’re excited to welcome BlueBet to the Panthers family and look forward to giving our members and fans plenty to cheer about at BlueBet Stadium.”

BlueBet founder and executive chairman Michael Sullivan added: “The Panthers are a young team with plenty of homegrown talent and we think they’re a great hope to go one better this season.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is and backing this team to go all the way as evidenced by our investment in BlueBet Stadium. We understand how special the club’s spiritual home is to the Panthers family and we take great pride in having our name and our brand associated with it.”

The Panthers have won their first two games of the NRL season. The team will host Melbourne Storm at the newly-branded BlueBet Stadium on Thursday.

Image: S.A.Mc9/CC BY-SA 3.0/Edited for size