Soccer: Phoenix score sponsorship deal

By Terry Maddaford

Phoenix bosses were coy yesterday, but it seems the A-League club has landed a windfall with confirmation that electronics giant Sony is to sponsor them for the rest of this season and through 2008-09.

There is also the provision for a further two years.

Although reports suggested the deal could be worth about $3 million a year in "cash and kind", it seems that is wide of the mark, and is likely to be something less for the rest of this season and next.

The Phoenix will have their new sponsor's logos on their shirts for their next home game - against Adelaide United on Friday week at Westpac Stadium.

Sony New Zealand managing director Martin McManus said his company had "hand-picked" the Phoenix for sponsorship.

Club chief executive Tony Pignata said the deal was a coup and would further enhance the club's work.

"It's a huge vote of confidence," he said. "Not only for the Phoenix but also for football in New Zealand."

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