Grand final captains Paul Gallen and Cameron Smith today launched the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership Season – as well as a new marketing campaign which highlights how fan power can help to create history.
Cronulla’s Gallen and Melbourne’s Smith joined representatives of the other 14 clubs, along with NRL CEO Todd Greenberg at Martin Place in Sydney.
The 2017 Telstra Premiership kicks off in one week – when Gallen’s Sharks host the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday, March 2.
Gallen’s Sharks won their first ever premiership in 2016, while Smith led the Kangaroos to a Four Nations triumph leading into a World Cup year.
“Last season meant so much to the people of Cronulla and the Sutherland Shire,” Gallen said at the launch. “It showed that anything is possible if you believe. That together, history can happen.”
Smith said: “It’s not the wins and losses that I remember most. It’s the people. It’s my teammates and coaches. It’s the opposition. And it’s you, the fans.”
The club captains joined hundreds of supporters at Martin Place for the season launch – and the official launch of the 2017 marketing campaign.
Mr Greenberg said recent history had proved how important the fans and members were to their teams’ fortunes.
“Our fans and members make a difference every week,” Mr Greenberg said at the launch.
“They all ride the highs and lows of every team … they celebrate every win and feel every defeat.
“The mantra for us this year is Let’s Make History. It is fitting as it suggests a collective effort. Our fans, our players, our clubs, are in the fight together.
“Our fans and members can and will make a difference to those incredible things that our superstars do on the field.”
This year’s campaign is designed to evolve from the 2016 ‘History Happens’, to a mantra of ‘Let’s Make History’ in 2017, evoking a more collective feel.
Each vignette sees the fans play a role in motivating the players, while the campaign features a younger generation of players including Anthony Milford, Matt Moylan, Valentine Holmes, Aaron Woods and Adam Reynolds.
Agency Archibald/Williams shot live action of the players, mixed with some existing footage.
Smith and Gallen were joined by Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and James Graham for the launch.
For the full 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership draw please visit nrl.com/draw and for tickets, visit nrl.com/tickets