Council to extend Lightning deal worth over $100m to region
The Sunshine Coast Lightning's partnership with the council is set to continue with a three-year sponsorship extension recommended to be ticked off by councillors.
But details of the partnership including contract terms and conditions are being kept confidential due to commercial in confidence information, according to meeting agenda documents.
Sunshine Coast Council has been a partner with the Lightning for the past five years, coming on board since the club's inception.
The initial agreement signed in 2016 was extended for two years in 2019 with the current deal due to expire in August.
The Lightning had lodged a proposal and request for an extension from 2022-2024.
Initial modelling on the benefits of securing a national netball team had forecast an estimated $4.9 million economic impact on the local economy and $249,000 in visitor spend benefits from visiting teams and spectators.
The two-time premiership winning franchise has exceeded all expectations, with council officers documenting some of the achievements since the club's inception.
Officers stated every home game at University of the Sunshine Coast Stadium sold out from 2017-2020 and the Lightning boasted more than 2000 paid annual members.
Officers added the franchise had generated an estimated economic impact of "over $100 million over the first five years" for the region, through visitation, local business development and national marketing and broadcast reach.
Lightning matches achieved an average of 2.7 million viewers a year nationally and players appeared at more than 320 local events.
The 2022-2024 plan focused on three key areas which were optimising the national exposure of the region through the audience reach of the Lightning; maximising opportunities for local businesses to benefit through the partnership and "communication and support for promotion of key council messaging of all types to local fans and match audiences".
Officers have recommended councillors authorise chief executive Emma Thomas to negotiate and execute a contract between the council and the Lightning for each of the 2022-2024 seasons, when they meet for the next ordinary meeting on April 29.