The Fiji Rugby Union has announced that it has negotiated and agreed to a new sponsorship agreement with Fiji Airways which will allow Fiji Airways to be the major naming and branding rights for the following Assets of the Fiji Rugby Union;
- Fiji Airways Flying Fijians (15s Men’s team)
- Fiji Airways National 7s Team (Men’s 7’s);
- Fiji Airways Fijiana 15s Team (Women’s 15s team);
- Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s Team (Women’s 7s team);
- Fiji Airways Drua (team currently playing in the Australian National Rugby Championship);
- Fiji Link Referees (all referees in Fiji will be sponsored by and will wear Fiji Link branded apparel).
The announcement was made by the President of the Fiji Rugby Union and Honourable Prime Minister Ratu Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama at the function at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
The Sponsorship Agreement reached between the two parties is likely to be one of the biggest sports sponsorship not only in Fiji but in the South Pacific.
In announcing the landmark sponsorship, FRU President Mr Voreqe Bainimarama said that tonight is a historic occasion for the Fiji Rugby Union, Fiji Airways and for our country.
“Tonight, I want to congratulate the Boards and Management of both the FRU and Fiji Airways in striking this historic partnership. It is a great day, as our national rugby teams now stand hand-in-hand with our national airline carrier. Every official, coach, and player will now “Fly like a Fijian,” both on the field and in the air.”
“Best of all, the benefits of this partnership flow both ways. The Fiji Rugby Union will gain not only from flights and financial support under this deal – they will also be aided by the significant marketing clout that comes from pairing with a global brand like Fiji Airways.”
“And in return, the marketing message of Fiji Airways will get a big boost by a strengthened bond to our national rugby teams. And with our ruggers as the public face of the brand, Fiji Airways will truly be represented to the rest of the world by the very best of Fiji.”
FRU Chief Executive Officer, Mr John O’Connor said that “This partnership will herald a new era for FRU and Rugby Union in Fiji. We have been on a journey of transformation since 2015 and this is part of that journey. While the journey has been tough and challenging at times, it is humbling to be here tonight to witness how far we have come in a short period of time”. He acknowledged and thanked the Chairman and the Board Directors for their commitment and steadfastness on their vision to transform Rugby Union in Fiji and progress it from Amateurism to professionalism.
He thanked the Consortium of Sponsors led by Vodafone Fiji Ltd and including Fiji Airways, HFC, CJ Patel and TFL for supporting the FRU in our time of need. Vodafone has provided wonderful support to the FRU in recent years, and have been very supportive in the rearrangements of the FRUs sponsorship arrangements. I would like to acknowledge and that the CEO, Vodafone Pradeep Lal for his support in this transition. Vodafone will continue to support the Fiji Rugby Union and announcement on the details of their sponsorship will made later date together with sponsorship arrangement”
Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO Mr Andre Viljoen said at the launch that over the past week they have had to field many calls asking where Fiji Airways was flying to next on Flight FJ 679.
“We deceptively called this the launch of Flight FJ 679 and tonight we finally reveal that Flight 679 is actually not about Fiji Airways flying to a new destiny but rather who Fiji Airways was taking with them on Board for the next five years.” He further added that Fiji Airways is proud to partner the Fiji Rugby Union for the next 5 years.
“As the National Airline of this great country, it is our honour to now fly Fiji Rugby to the world. The coming together of our two iconic Fijian brands means that Fijians will also have more opportunities to fly abroad to watch our rugby heroes in action. And we’ll take great pride in bringing the world to FIJI to watch them play at home.”
The sponsorship will be for a term of five years, and will commence immediately with the Fiji Airways International Teams, to play in their new jerseys for the first time when the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians take on Italy on 18th of November 2017 and the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s Men’s and Fijiana team play in the Oceania 7s on November 10th.