Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) has launched a new initiative which aims to help local sporting clubs save money, and also has the potential to act as a fundraiser.

Club Connect is backed by both the AFL and NRL after being developed with grassroots clubs. The Clubs Connect initiative is an online drinks store which is now available to licensed local clubs to use to purchase their drinks.

Clubs register with Club Connect, then order everything from beer and wine to water, energy drinks and soft drinks, which are then delivered to the club at no additional charge. In addition Club Connect also offers a rebate system, giving clubs cash back with every purchase – including $1 for a case of water, up to $3 for a case of beer and more for wine – acting as a new fundraiser for cash-strapped local clubs.

CUB Chief Executive Peter Filipovic said the company has a long and proud history of supporting local, grassroots clubs.

“After extensive consultation with local sports clubs, we think Club Connect is the best way to help solve some of the problems grassroots sports clubs face,” Filipovic said. “Sporting clubs are at the heart of local communities and drinks sales are critical to helping them raise badly-needed funds.

“Club Connect will transform how clubs buy drinks by saving them time and money, helping them fundraise and offering a great product range and convenience.”

One of the first clubs to sign up was South Melbourne District Senior Football Club, which expects to save several thousand dollars every year.

“It is a game-changer for us,” said Club Vice President David Robertson. “The savings and rebates we get from Club Connect will be used to pay bills, keep membership fees down and reduce the amount of fundraising volunteers have to do. The initiative is tailored for community clubs run by volunteers and we are pleased to be part of it. It’s a terrific product to support community sports clubs.”

AFL General Manager Game Development Andrew Dillon welcomed Club Connect.

“Footy clubs play such an important role in their local communities, not only for players, but for local families, volunteers and the broader community,” he said. “Anytime our partners can help support the grassroots they have the AFL’s backing, and this initiative is another one in CUB’s long history of supporting local football clubs.”

Club Connect is available only to local clubs with a liquor licence for the sale and on-premise consumption of alcohol. It is currently accessible by clubs within 150km of a capital city CBD but is expected to expand to every clubs across Australia by mid-year.

CUB said there is also no minimum spend, no joining fee and strict protocols to ensure only nominated adults can collect the order.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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