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Fiji Rugby And Fiji Airways Strike Big Five-Year Deal

Fiji Rugby And Fiji Airways Strike Big Five-Year Deal
National reps wearing the newly branded Fiji Airways Rugby uniforms during the announcement of landmark deal between Fiji Airways and Fiji Rugby Union at Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva on October 11, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau
October 12
10:36 2017

Fiji Airways and Fiji Rugby Union yesterday launched a groundbreaking five year sponsorship deal.

This after Fiji Airways became the major  naming and branding rights sponsor of all Fijian senior national rugby teams.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama officiated at the Flight 679, Fiji Airways and Fiji Rugby Union sponsorship announcement at the Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva, last night.

Fiji Airways managing director and chief executive officer Andre Viljoen said: “FJ 679 is actually not about us flying to a new destination; rather it’s about us flying on a special journey for the next five years .

“While it’s not a new partner, it is a brand new partnership. Flight FJ 679 is the single biggest sponsorship in Fiji Airways’ history, and is right up there among the biggest sponsorship deals announced not just in Fiji, but in the South Pacific.”

Fiji Airways contributes a lot to the communities in Fiji.

“We wanted to keep doing more,and saw an opportunity to partner with a sport that tugs at the heartstrings of all Fijians.

“It’s stating the obvious that sport is a huge part of our lives in Fiji and we’re very proud of our sporting history and prowess. Most recently, the historic win of our Rugby Sevens Men’s Teams at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, which put us on the world and Olympic maps.”

He said although in relative terms, we may be a small airline, we’re a proud one.

“The pride we have in our country and our people is second to none. Fiji Rugby shares our pride and our ideal, and just like us, they punch well above their weight when taking on the world.

“When we talk about investing in the biggest cash and flight sponsorship deal in our history, we’re talking about all of us.

“Every single team member of Fiji Airways, every single customer and shareholder, and every Fijian for whom we fly, is making this investment.

“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.”

Mr Bainimarama said it marks another historic occasion for all Fijians, as the Fiji Rugby Union has teamed up with one of our country’s most revered brands – Fiji Airways–to start a new era in our country for sports and aviation.

“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.”

Partners global reach

Like our rugby teams, Fiji Airways has a global reach, and also like our rugby teams, they punch above their weight on the international stage.

“Their beautiful planes and the smiling “Bulas” from their flight crews are often the first and last impression that tourists and travellers get when they visit our country.

“Fiji Airways epitomises what Fiji is all about. They are a gateway to Fiji.

“Our national airline brings hundreds of thousands of tourists into and out of our country every year, book-ending the massive economic impact of the tourism sector.

“Fiji Airways symbolises the magnificence of our islands, the splendour of our country, and the warmth and friendliness of our people.

“So what better way to market our country and our national rugby teams than for Fiji Airways to become the naming-rights sponsor of all our national rugby teams,” Mr Bainimarama said.

Mr Viljoen said of particular importance is the inclusion of two Women’s teams – 15s and 7s – as part of their sponsorship.

“We’re ensuring that just like our world beating Men’s teams, our Fijianas get all the support they need to be reach the rugby summit.

“Additionally, it’s very exciting to have our domestic carrier Fiji Link as a major sponsor of Fijian rugby referees, who are an integral part of the sport.”

New designs

Mr Bainimarama said: “I am proud to reveal the new designs of our uniforms, carrying the branding of Fiji Airways on the front and back of the jerseys and shorts of the Flying Fijians, the Fijiana, our Sevens teams, and the Drua,”

FRU chief executive officer, John O’Connor said: “Fiji Airways adorning the front of the jersey of all of Fiji Rugby’s senior International teams until 2022 is such a perfect union of two brands with incredible heritage and could not be a more synergistic partnership.”

Fiji Airways’ marketing, naming and branding rights during the five-year sponsorship term include Fiji Rugby’s participation in the HSBC Sevens World Series, HSBC Womens Sevens World Series, Pacific Nations Cup, and Australia’s National Rugby Championship (NRC).

To the world, our teams will become known as the:

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians.

Fiji Airways Sevens (Men and Women)

Fiji Airways Fijiana

Fiji Airways Drua.

And as part of this partnership, Fiji Link– Fiji’s domestic carrier–will sponsor all of Fiji’s local referees.

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Waisale Serevi
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October 2017
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