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Analysis: Win-Win For Rugby, For Fiji

After a job well done, Litiana Loabuka is grateful it’s over. And she is looking forward to hosting a bigger, better Super Rugby match between the BNZ Crusaders and the
29 May 2017 10:00
Analysis: Win-Win For Rugby, For Fiji
Crusaders and Chiefs fans at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on May 19, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar

After a job well done, Litiana Loabuka is grateful it’s over. And she is looking forward to hosting a bigger, better Super Rugby match between the BNZ Crusaders and the Gallagher Chiefs in Suva next year.

The Fiji Sports Council chief executive officer and chairperson of the organising committee now have time and space to sit back and ponder on what she and her hardworking team could have done better.

The success of the May 19 Super Friday rugby clash at the ANZ Stadium in Suva is still the buzz and talk of the rugby world and fans are already looking forward to the event next year.

The colour, pomp and the electrifying atmosphere created by the 17,000 vocal crowd made the event unique and special and is gradually building Suva to become a Super Rugby capital

Since the inaugural event in 2016, the annual clash is becoming a revenue puller for our island nation.

Through the support of the Government and corporate sponsors and fans, the expenditure in hosting the event totalled $1,557,000 in 2016.

And the direct economic benefit for the country in 2016 was a massive $19,747, 000.

Key points include:

  • 149 hours of broadcast time;
  • Viewership over 2 million people in the monitored markets;
  • 14 monitored markets – expectation is that an additional similar number is reached in non-monitored markets;
  • Over 27 minutes of direct brand visibility within the broadcasts;
  • Additional 8 minutes of Fiji specific broadcast in the Pre-Game segment;
  • Interview with Attorney-General gave additional exposure;
  • Build up prior to game included non-game related messaging for Fiji and tourism in general;
  • Fiji Airways engaged for all flights including three extra direct flights from AKL – SUV
  • Over 300 inbound guests staying in Fiji for one week;
  • Over 75 sponsors and High Value clients of both Chiefs and Crusaders attended and stayed on (or arrived before) past the game.

While the 2017 report will be finalised later Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum revealed in Parliament on Friday that the Fiji Sports Council earned $180,732 which is 25 per cent of the total gate-takings of $722, 928.

The Sports Council also collected $24, 246 from the sale of merchandise, liquor and car park fees.

While the figures are preliminary and will be audited, Sayed-Khaiyum said that apart from these direct benefits, there were numerous indirect benefits Fiji received from hosting this match.

Loabuka said investment in sports tourism is not only directly benefiting the Fijian economy.

“It also brought home, professional rugby to many of our aspiring young players and an opportunity for Fijians to see spectacular rugby live in person,”Loabuka said.

“Our Fijian Government has also laid the groundwork and provided funding for a number of international tournaments to be hosted in Fiji.

“And these sporting events present excellent opportunities for them to do just that, and help increase our tourism and keep growing our economy.

“These events showcase our natural beauty to the world and demonstrate our capacity to attract professional and casual athletes from all over the globe.

“This means more tourism, more money in our economy and more jobs for ordinary Fijians in our sports tourism industry.”

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Loabuka also applauded the hundreds of volunteers who contributed to the success of the event.

“Last year we had 400 volunteers.

“This year it’s more than double with 900 Fijians doing it for the love of the game and country.

“This year we need to lift our game and deliver in a lot of areas that we received feedback on last year.

“Major Nemani Vuniwaqa who heads the risk management team and the secretariat team led by Inoke Bainimarama deserves special mention.”

Everyone is benefitting from the Super Rugby game and fans can’t wait for next year. We applaud everyone who made it happen.

It’s a win-win and deserved everyone’s utmost support for a bigger, better brighter Super showdown in 2018.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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