The Holden State of Origin Series was launched yesterday at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, alongside a marketing campaign designed to engage all supporters of the game.
Watch the press conferences - and what the captains and coaches had to say - in the video above.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg launched the “This is Origin” campaign, alongside NSW VB Blues Coach Laurie Daley and Captain Paul Gallen, XXXX Queensland Maroons Coach Kevin Walters and Captain Cameron Smith as well as the Hon NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Sport, Stuart Ayres.
Mr Greenberg said the campaign was a creative platform which enabled everyone involved in the game, from players to fans, to share their Origin memories.
Additionally, it was announced that long-time series sponsor Holden had extended its partnership with the event for the next two years.
Mr Greenberg said it was a significant day for the game and for the Origin series.
“State of Origin is the biggest annual sporting event in Australia,” Mr Greenberg said. “Last year more than 220,000 people attended Origin while 12 million people watched the series across the country.
“We want this game and this concept to reach as many people as possible and we want them all to share their own Origin memories this year.
“Whether you’re a player, a coach, a Blatchy Blue, or a farmer who travels from regional Queensland to watch the game, Origin is an event which brings people together and provides a spectacular like no other.”
The campaign, which will commence today and culminate with a spectacular pre-game show at all three Origin matches, will include strong digital and social elements, encouraging fans to share their Origin moments.
As part of the new deal, Holden will hold naming rights for the series for 2016 and 2017.
“The Holden State of Origin Series is one of the most iconic Australian sporting events on the calendar,” said Mark Bernhard, Holden’s Chairman and Managing Director. “It’s steeped in history and passion, with some of the best athletes in the country and the pride of their state on the line.
“It’s a great fit for Holden – another great Australian icon. We’re very proud to be the naming rights partner and have the Holden Colorado as the official car of the series.
“Holden is evolving to meet the changing needs of our customers and we want to be known as a customer-orientated brand, one that always stretches to the line or makes that last-ditch tackle for our customers. We’re passionate about our customers and passion is exactly what State of Origin is built on.”
Blues Coach Laurie Daley said: "We are excited to be playing two games at the Home of the Blues and clearly our fans are too with the two-game Sydney package selling well.
"Playing in front of a full stadium of loud, proud Blues fans ... that is Origin."
New Maroons coach Kevin Walters said he was relishing the prospect of his first series in charge of the squad.
“Playing two games in Sydney presents a big challenge for us, but it's one the entire group is looking forward to,” Walters said. “History shows just how important the opening game of the Series is so it's crucial we get off to a positive start.
“In recent years we've had some excellent support at ANZ Stadium and we hope to see a sea of maroon once again in the Queensland supporter bays.”
Tickets are available at http://tickets.nrl.com/
Holden State of Origin Series
Game I – ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Wednesday, 1 June
Game II – Suncorp Stadium, Wednesday, 22 June
Game III – ANZ Stadium, Wednesday, 13 July