Celebrating 140 XXXX years

Congratulations to our major sponsor and great mates XXXX on the 140th birthday of their iconic Castlemaine Perkins brewery in Milton! 

As XXXX celebrate their 140th anniversary we look back at the rich history between the iconic Queensland brewer and the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys.

The Cowboys' close relationship with XXXX started well before the club played their first game in the National Rugby League in 1995.

XXXX were instrumental in providing a means for the club's first CEO Kerry Boustead to keep working towards building the club in 1993, as well as being the very first major sponsor to sign on with the club for the inaugural 1995 season – they even helped with marketing resourcing in the early years.

Former Managing Director of Castlemaine Perkins Ray Weekes and Cowboys founding chairman Ron McLean sign the historic partnership
Former Managing Director of Castlemaine Perkins Ray Weekes and Cowboys founding chairman Ron McLean sign the historic partnership

The first true collaboration of the two great organisations came even earlier when Boustead delivered the club's application to the ARL on the back of a stage coach with an esky of ice cold XXXX beer way back in 1991.

XXXX were behind us from 'Day Zero'

Inaugural Cowboys CEO and director Kerry Boustead

"XXXX were behind us from 'Day Zero'. In 1993 the ARL were expected to have made their decision about the Cowboys' inclusion in the competition but this was pushed back 12 months – leaving me with no income stream in 1993," Boustead recalls.

"To keep me in Townsville working towards having the club ready when the approval did come the following year, XXXX offered me a job in their sales team.

"It was a job with lots of flexibility to continue to work to make this club's dream come to fruition. I absolutely would not have been able to stay here without them."

By the time the Cowboys ran on to the field for the first time in 1995, the support of XXXX was truly immeasurable.

Cowboys inaugural captain Laurie Spina leads the team out for their first game in 1995
Cowboys inaugural captain Laurie Spina leads the team out for their first game in 1995

In the preceding years they assisted the club in numerous ways including marketing resources to assist with branding decisions (club folklore even says that the inclusion of yellow in the team's colours was actually from the XXXX colours), jersey design and community engagement – all hugely impactful on the club's ability to get the job done in those pivotal years.

Ahead of the 1995 season XXXX then put the full weight of their support behind the club by signing on as the first major sponsor of the North Queensland Cowboys.

Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott with Glen Cummins, Regional Sales Executive with Lion
Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott with Glen Cummins, Regional Sales Executive with Lion

The first sponsor of the club, and with us every step since.

Fast forward to 2018, and XXXX renewed their major partnership on a multi-year deal, making it one of the club's longest-standing corporate sponsors.

To celebrate their support of two of Queensland's National Rugby League teams, XXXX also launched the inaugural XXXX Derby between the Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos, harping back to the XXXX Queensland Challenge era.

Symbolically represented by a trophy in the shape of the great state of Queensland, the XXXX Derby trophy was crafted from original wood used in the building of the Castlemaine Perkins Brewery.

First honours went to Brisbane 24-20 in Round 2 at Suncorp Stadium, but North Queensland struck back in Round 22, claiming the trophy 34-30 at 1300SMILES Stadium, and setting up the next exciting instalment of the XXXX Derby between these 'bitter rivals' in 2019.

Here's to a bright future for two great Queenslanders, XXXX and the Cowboys!