UPDATE: The Fremantle Dockers are poised to challenge their arch rivals West Coast Eagles as the financial powerhouse of WA football, despite the loss of yesterday's grand final.
Marketing and finance experts believe the grand final appearance will give Fremantle's coffers an eventual cash boost of up to $5 million, helping build financial muscle that will carry it through fluctuations in onfield fortunes.
The Dockers will generate more than $2 million in sponsorship and marketing grunt from the prestige of yesterday's match. More could be added with corporate sponsorships linked to lucrative grand final day bonuses.
However, they did miss out on an immediate bonus - a win yesterday would have netted the club $1 million in prize money from the AFL.
Before yesterday Fremantle had pumped about $2 million in merchandise sales through the tills of its two stores since its qualifying final win over Geelong, at a rate of up to $100,000 a day.
Chief executive Steve Rosich said the three-week total matched total 2003 merchandise revenue.
Marketing expert Barry Urquhart said the dollar value of the Dockers was set to skyrocket.
"It will open up a raft of potential and future sponsorship opportunities," he said. "And undoubtedly the club will be able to ask existing sponsors for more.
"Put it this way: their marketing department won't be knocking on anyone's doors ... the business (will) come to them."
Chris Styring from Sweeney Sports and Entertainment said an inflow of up to 15,000 members after a grand final was not out of the question.
The financial fillip means Fremantle can now seriously lay claim to equal footing with cross town rivals West Coast. Last year Fremantle generated more than $4.6 million for the WA Football Commission. This is set to rise to $6 million this year because of Fremantle's 2013 performance.
Fremantle operates under a formula where it gives a fixed percentage of revenue generated at Patersons Stadium to the football commission as payment for ground rental and using the AFL licence held by the commission.
West Coast has a profit-based royalty formula plus it pays the commission ground rental on Patersons. The rental bill last year was about $3.4 million and the royalty was $2.2 million.West Coast enjoyed a big boost in profitability after its back-to-back grand final appearances in 2005 and 2006.