CQUni signs five-year deal with Rocky Cyclones
BASKETBALL: CQUniversity has announced a five-year naming rights agreement with the Rockhampton Cyclones - a deal that is expected not only to retain and source talent but also provide tertiary pathways for players.
Rockhampton Basketball general manager Cameron Tragardh said that when he first joined the organisation, he had approached CQUniversity former boss Scott Bowman about the possibility of a partnership.
"I met him before I moved to town and I said I would love to have CQUniversity involved in some capacity,” Tragardh said.
"It was CQUniversity that pointed us to the women's side of things.
"They said they have a passion for women's sport, and we've perhaps got the most storied women's sporting program in the history of Rocky in the Cyclones. I thought it was a match made in heaven and we went from there.”
As part of the partnership, CQUniversity will provide four scholarships to Cyclones players enrolled at the university and access to the CQUniversity stadium for training and to use its gym facilities.
Cyclone player imports will also have access to accommodation at CQUni's Capricornia College during the QBL season.
"We lose so many players to the bigger regional cities, so for our players to have the chance to seek scholarships here rather than down south will be massive for our program,” Tragardh said.
"They can live at home or live on campus, and that pathway should go a long way to keeping our Cyclones as Cyclones and not having them come here to play against us in the future.
"We're over the moon. We couldn't be happier.
"The Cyclones are already the most successful winter basketball team in the country - we have reached the QBL grand finals in three out of the past five years and won the state championship twice - and we see CQUni as one of the most successful educational institutions, so aligning our brands makes sense.”
In addition to the partnership, the CQUni brand will be promoted across Rockhampton's junior girls' club competition, Queensland representative girls' teams, and women's adult club teams and championship competition.
"On top of that, the knowledge we will gain working with the CQUni sports science department will be priceless and give us a competitive edge in the QBL,” Tragardh said.
"This partnership will make the Rockhampton Cyclones the most well-resourced women's team in the league.”
Rockhampton CQUniversity's Associate Vice-Chancellor, Kim Harrington, said the agreement would promote and enhance the university's relationship with hundreds of female players.
"We also plan to work closely with key Cyclones players to participate in CQUniversity events and promotions and we are investing in stadium signage, uniform branding and merchandise,” she said.
"There will be an opportunity for CQUniversity students to become involved in Cyclones' game night functions for professional development.
"The university is a big believer in community groups, sporting groups and clubs, and we like to sponsor where we can that is without a national footprint.
"Over the years we've sponsored both genders and different types of sports that attract both males and females, and in more recent years in basketball we focused on male teams with the Cairns Taipans.”
The shift towards a women's team, Harrington said, was to create gender equity.
"The women's basketball and upcoming female players are just as important and you hear about them not always getting the same pay or sponsorship as male teams,” she said. "CQUni made the decision that our next major sponsorship would be in a female-orientated sport for a female team, and the Cyclones were chosen.”
Harrington also said students and academics at the university would work with the players.
"They'll look at their fitness levels,” she said. "We have a whole stack of research when it comes to fitness and what is peak performance and what gets players to peak performance.
"Some of our academics are basketball players themselves and are keen to get involved with players around that research.”