Fiji Airways puts name to country's rugby teams in 'new era' for FRU
Fiji Airways, the South Pacific island's national carrier, has signed a significant naming rights deal with the Fiji Rugby Union.
The five-year agreement will put the Fiji Airways name to the men's and women's 15-a-side and 7-a-side teams, as well as the Drua, the Fijian team that plays in Australia’s National Rugby Championship. The firm will continue to have branding on the playing jerseys.
In addition, all rugby referees in Fiji will be sponsored by and wear Fiji Link (the trade name for Fiji Airlines) branded kit.
The FRU said it was a "landmark sponsorship" deal for the sport in the country, with its president Voreqe Bainimarama adding: “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.”
The FRU's previous major commercial partner was a consortium led by mobile phone operator Vodafone, and also consisting of Fiji Airways, Fijian Holdings, Home Finance Company, CJ Patel (Pacific) Ltd and Telecom Fiji.
The FRU said Vodafone remains a sponsor of the national team and that the terms of that sponsorship arrangement will be "made at a later date."
John O'Connor, chief executive of the FRU, explained: “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 witness how far we have come in a short period of time.
“Vodafone has provided wonderful support to the FRU in recent years, and have been very supportive in the rearrangements of the FRU's sponsorship arrangements. I would like to acknowledge and thank the CEO of Vodafone Pradeep Lal for his support in this transition. Vodafone will continue to support the Fiji Rugby Union.”