SUNBIZ

Our Rugby House Upgrades Licensing Programme

One of our big challenges is to create more revenue to allow us to invest in the game and invest in keeping good players here in Fiji: Brian Thorburn The
03 Jun 2017 11:00
Our Rugby House Upgrades Licensing Programme
Brian Thorburn, the Fiji Rugby Union’s General Manager Commercial, at the Rugby House in Suva on Thursday, June 1, 2017 . Photo: IVAMERE NATARO

One of our big challenges is to create more revenue to allow us to invest in the game and invest in keeping good players here in Fiji: Brian Thorburn

The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) is embarking on a major upgrade of its licensing programme.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun yesterday, FRU’s General Manager Commercial Brian Thorburn said they aspired to sell similar volumes of quantity of their products to the All Blacks sale in the international market.

Mr Thorburn, who spent 11 years as commercial director of the Australian Rugby Union and did two terms as executive director of the Australian PGA (professional golfers association), said: “We’ve got a wonderful brand that people love, so that’s part of our programme, we will be selling everything from watches to pens, USB sticks in addition to the traditional apparel, all of which we draw revenue from and partnership with manufactures allows them to access to our brand, to grow their sale and as well as draw up revenues for the Fiji Rugby Union,” Mr Thorburn said.

He said FRU was looking for more partners.

“One of our big challenges is to create more revenue to allow us to invest in the game and invest in keeping good players here in Fiji.

“And to do that, we need more partners to join us in our journey so we’re looking for partners to help us with our new properties, we’ve got a new team in the NRC (National Rugby Competition) coming up.

“We’ve got space for our partnerships in a whole range of category from insurance, property to fast food; we’re looking for a partner for our referees.

“FRU is going through a transition into a more robust, into a more professional organisation and we’ve done a lot of our staffing already, we’re getting our house in order and we’re now going to embark on a big growth phase for our union, Mr Thorburn said.

“We’ve got an incredible set of opportunities in front of us, we’ve got a great hundred year heritage, and we of course have got recent success by the men’s 7s team win in Rio.

“In the next few weeks we’ve got three test matches against the Wallabies, Tonga and Samoa, which is the World Cup qualifiers and that determines whether we get into the preferred pool in the Cup or to the pool of death.

“Over the next several years, we’ve also got challenges and opportunities in the 7s front. We’ve got the Commonwealth Game in Brisbane, Australia next year. The rugby world cup 7s in San Francisco, we’ve got the Olympics in 2020 and the Rugby World Cup for the 15s in 2019.

 

Sponsors

“We’re blessed to have a great pool of sponsors already, led by our consortium, with Vodafone having brought together Fiji Airways, TFL, CJ Patel and HFC Bank. Plus we’ve got great brands such as Fiji Water and Coca Cola as well as Carpenters Motors and we’re about to announce next week a great new apparel sponsor, which will take us double or triple our jersey sales and branding.

“Every dollar that comes into FRU is invested in Rugby in Fiji. We’re not like a company with shareholders, with dividends to pay, administration expenses running the FRU. We’ve got development officers out around the country helping to grow the game.

“We’ve got relationships with all the unions and provide financial support for them. But we need more,” he said.

Mr Thorburn said one of the great advantages they had was that everyone loved Fiji, it was their second favourite team and there were  alot of Fijians overseas, there’s a lot of nationality who support the Fiji team.

“There’s a limit to our sponsors, we’ve got five sponsors already and another total of about nine. I would like to think that we can grow our sponsorship to nine or 10 and one official supporter range of another six or so.

“We would like to have an official footwear supplier, a watch sponsor. We would like to have an insurance company to who we can give our insurance business and also partner with us on our journey.”

 

Interested businesses can contact Mr Thorburn at:

Email – Brian@247Sport.com.au

Feedback:  ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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