Australian casino entertainment group Crown Resorts has signed a five-year extension to its sponsorship agreement with National Rugby League (NRL) team Melbourne Storm.

The latest deal, described by the operator as a “landmark” agreement, begins in 2016 and lasts until 2020, with Crown remaining a major partner of the team and its principal shirt sponsor.

The operator noted that the partnership is the longest single-term contract signed by the team, reflecting the strength of the Crown brand and its confidence in Storm as a business partner.

A key focus of the renewed partnership will be to create unique Crown experiences for customers, as well as working closely to add value to each company’s loyalty programme.

By the end of the deal, Crown will have spent a decade as Melbourne Storm’s main partner, having already worked with the team over the past five years.

“Crown Resorts are one of Australia’s most iconic entertainment brands, representing the best in class in all they do,” Melbourne Storm chairman Bart Campbell commented. “Melbourne Storm holds similar values and constantly strives to be the best in every field. It is a fantastic partnership that now forms a foundation of our future plans for success.

“Crown Resorts and Melbourne Storm will work in unison to create unique, exciting and lasting memories for members, customers and fans alike. The longevity of a five-year extension offers a fantastic platform to deliver value to all parties.”

Crown Resorts' chief marketing officer Christopher Coyne said that the companies would be able to develop a deeper partnership to the benefit of the customers that enjoy both sport and gambling.

“We are consistently embracing opportunities and evolving the way in which we reward loyalty and tailored experiences with the Melbourne Storm team will indeed create memorable moments,” Coyne explained.