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FRU, VBM Seal Deal

The Fiji Rugby Union has signed a merchandising and licensing agreement deal  with Velocity Brand Management (VBM). Sealed last Friday in Sydney, the milestone achievement is part of reforms being
09 Feb 2017 11:00
FRU, VBM Seal Deal
From left Velocity Brand Management (VBM) managing director James Ashworth and FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor signing the deal in Sydney last week. Photo: Fiji Rugby

The Fiji Rugby Union has signed a merchandising and licensing agreement deal  with Velocity Brand Management (VBM).

Sealed last Friday in Sydney, the milestone achievement is part of reforms being undertaken at Rugby House.

VBM is a globally renowned multi-faceted licensing and merchandising business specialising in the licensing of major and other retail outlets globally to manufacture and provide such merchandizing for sale.

“This is the first time FRU has engaged a specialist firm to manage this portfolio,”FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor said.

“Currently FRU only have merchandizing in kits and clothing and are only available from our local market.”

O’Connor said VBM would now negotiate the licensing of major and other retail outlets globally to manufacture all ranges of FRU merchandize and provide such merchandizing for sale from their outlets or their franchise.

He said for too long unscrupulous businesses and individuals have taken advantage of the FRU brand without proper licensing and paying any royalty.

“Partnering with VBM will set a framework to ensure that the FRU will be able to license businesses which can then sell all types of FRU merchandise including team kits.  VBM will also assist FRU in managing its kit and footwear sponsors.”

VBM managing director James Ashworth added VBM were very fortunate to partner with the FRU who join a dynamic group of licensing partners which VBM represents including the All Blacks, National Rugby League, Rugby World Cup 2007 & 2011, British & Irish Lions, Football Federation Australia, Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board, International Cricket Council and  Cricket World Cup 2007, 2011 2015, Tennis Australia and the Australian Open.

Ashworth added  VBM is excited about partnering with the FRU in terms it’s licensing and merchandising and he firmly believes that there is a great opportunity for the FRU to increase its income through licensing and merchandising in view of the success of the Vodafone Fijian 7s  and Vodafone Flying Fijian teams.

VBM is also looking at signing licensing and merchandizing partners to manufacture and sell FRU merchandizes in the UK, NZ, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, France, Canada, USA and domestically. He said there was huge potential in these markets because apart from the huge Fijian communities that have made these countries home, almost every global rugby supporter loves the Fiji rugby teams and is their next preferred team, the first being their own national teams.  Ashworth is confident that in the next two years the FRU will realize new revenue streams through the new licensing and merchandizing partnership that VBM will negotiate and manage for FRU.

Ashworth is expected to be in Fiji in the near future to review local agreements and look at opportunities of expanding the FRU’s merchandising and licensing and to provide more options to the people of Fiji. –

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj



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