Dragons poised for windfall via major sponsorship deal with Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest
St George Illawarra Dragons are on the brink of a major financial boost as Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, Australia’s second-richest person, is reportedly close to finalising a substantial sponsorship agreement with the club.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the billionaire mining magnate is expected to sign a lucrative deal, amounting to $1.2 million per year, for his energy company Squadron Energy to become the Dragons’ primary front-of-shirt sponsor starting from 2025.
Reports suggest that Squadron Energy may first feature as the club’s back-of-jersey sponsor in 2024 before transitioning to the front of the jersey in the subsequent season. This strategic timeline aligns with the conclusion of the Dragons’ current 20-year partnership with principal sponsor St George Bank.
Forrest, with a net worth of $33.29 billion according to the Financial Review 2023 Rich List, is renowned as a significant figure in the business world. While Forrest has previously invested substantially in rugby union, supporting embattled Super Rugby franchise Western Force in his hometown of Perth and backing the World Series Rugby/Global Rapid Rugby competitions in 2018-19, the potential sponsorship deal with the Dragons marks his first foray into rugby league.
If finalised, this sponsorship arrangement would stand as one of the most substantial and historic in the code’s history.
St George Illawarra has been reeling from several seasons of on-field underperformance, a slew of negative off-field headlines around player behaviour and the mid-2023 sacking of coach Anthony Griffin, culminating in the blow of losing St George Bank as its loyal backer.
The struggling Dragons, anticipating the financial infusion from this impending deal, are positioned to strengthen their standing within NRL and elevate their profile with the support of one of Australia’s wealthiest individuals.