The Canberra Raiders new look cheer squad The Emeralds proudly presented by McDonald’s, which was officially unveiled at Skyfire last Saturday, will conduct their first official performance this Sunday at halftime of the Raiders match against the Gold Coast Titans at GIO Stadium.
Click the play button above to see an interview with Coordinator Melissa Gelonese with 104.7's Scotty & Nige and a performance from one of The Emeralds, Sarah, at Skyfire last weekend.
The new look squad is coordinated by Melissa Gelonese, who has a vast array of experience in the industry including working with both the Sharks and Eels cheer squads in the past.
Ms Gelonese said the name The Emeralds is something which can be instantly recognised with the Raiders and they will be looking to bring professionalism and high quality entertainment to the Raiders game day experience.
“We wanted to go with something that was a bit glamorous and of course Emeralds being green it was the perfect fit for the news squad and the Raiders,” Ms Gelonese said. “We’ve tailored our performances to NRL themes and we’re looking at more of the old school rock music to fit in with what the crowd want to see and hear.”
The new Emeralds Squad, which consists of a sprinkling of past performers with new talent, features a number of highly skilled and well trained performers that will not only perform on-field throughout the season but also interact with fans in the stands. A junior squad will also be showcased later in season 2014.
“I really like to think that we’ve tailored the look of the squad to something that’s more classic so it suits all ages of the clubs fan base,” Gelonese said. “We’re also looking at bringing in a junior squad throughout the season which stays in line with the family theme and allows some of the younger children to get out there and perform in front of their friends and families which is exciting.”
Ms Gelonese said the squad will also be working alongside their major sponsor McDonald’s to focus on community involvement, including appearances away from the field at charity events.
“With a whole new image and a whole new style, the girls really want to get involved in the charity side of things, especially working with the major sponsor of the squad McDonald’s” she said.
“McDonald’s are a fabulous sponsor to have involved with the squad, particularly with the fantastic work they do in the community which really ties in with what we want to achieve.”
The McDonald’s partnership includes support for various home games throughout the season, uniform branding and a number of promotional initiatives. Hani Sidaros, McDonald’s ACT Licensee is excited to be supporting the new squad, and looking forward to seeing them perform.
“McDonald’s restaurants in the ACT have always been a strong supporter of the Raiders, and it was a natural step for us to support the Emeralds given our shared commitment to the community. They always bring a positive energy to our home games, and we are sure they will bring the same spirit to their charity work,” concluded Hani Sidaros.