THE Newcastle Jets have a home shirt sponsor for the first time since Martin Lee assumed ownership but the A-League club remains a long way from breaking even.
Privium Homes has signed a "six figure" deal to appear on the front of the Jets shirts for the final four home games, starting with the visit by Adelaide on Sunday.
The Queensland construction company was attracted to the Jets strong "community ties" as it aims to expand operations in the Hunter.
"The Jets are an icon in the community here and we are a family-orientated company," Privium Homes NSW General Manager Karl Hellyar said.
Lee, through the Ledman Group, had been sponsoring his own team until now.
Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna said the plan had always been to find a major backer to replace Ledman.
"To have Queensland's biggest builder and Australia's biggest townhouse builder on board is huge for us," McKinna said. "We will hopefully work hand-in-hand to help make their brand bigger in Newcastle. Negotiations started in December and we will look to extend the contract beyond this season if it works for them and works for us."
Privium's support follows a three-year extension in September by away-jersey sponsor Inspiration Paints. Greater Bank are also on deck for three seasons and McDonald's for two seasons. The University of Newcastle, Veolia and Bartercard are also major partners.
"These are big brands locally and nationally as well," McKinna said. "We have a strong supporter and membership base but to be seen as community club is important for us. We are out there at the grassroots level, we are helping charities and becoming part of Newcastle. To get companies on board because of those reasons show that we are doing the right thing."
Lee is estimated to have spent more than $11 million on the Jets, including a licence fee of $5.5 million, since taking over in July 2016.
Under McKinna, the club's turnover has increased from $8 million to more than $12 million per year.
The impending move to an independently run A-League is expected to open more revenue streams for clubs.
The Jets will again post a significant loss this season, but McKinna remains confident the club will be a break-even operation in two years.
"We are heading in the right direction," he said.