Vodafone Fiji today announced its new sponsorship of $4million to the Fiji National Rugby League. Speaking at todays press conference, Vodafone CEO, case Aslam Khan congratulated the FNRL for its consistency and hard work.
Vodafone is happy with the way FNRL has performed over the years. Their excellent work has resulted in the boys performance at the League World Cup, so to speak.
The sponsorship will fund all tournaments endorsed and organised by FNRL which includes, Vodafone Trophy, Vodafone Cup, State of Origin, Battle of the Bati, Inter-Zone and the 9s Tournament. It also secures Vodafones naming rights for the national rugby league team.
Khan said Vodafone was happy to set the platform for development through these sponsorships which provided the opportunity to showcase and market Fiji players overseas. He added it would also enhance domestic performance for Fiji.
This deal will be able to cater for local tournaments in club level. Most aspiring players dont have money for bus fares, boots and stuff. Through tournaments, they come up and secure lucrative overseas contracts providing a better future for them and their families.
Chairman of FNRL Board of Directors, Peni Musunamasi said he was grateful for Vodafones sponsorship which couldnt have come at a better time with Fiji knocking Samoa out in this mornings quarter final encounter.
Vodafone had come in at a time when we needed funding in 2006 when we were thinking of withdrawing from the world cup qualifiers because of lack of funds. They came in with a sponsorship of $3million then and have increased over the years so we are very grateful to them.
He said the funding would be used for the codes development across the border from secondary to club and premier level.
Musunamasi also reiterated the need for rugby league development at grass-root level.
We are also looking at primary school level apart from secondary and club because there is so much talent out there.
He added while development was the key issue, professionalism was another area they needed to look into. The FNRL, through this funding will conduct tournaments in a more professional manner.
The organisation will also be looking at strategies on improving its business arm and merchandise.
While we look at development, we also need to improve on our brand name and merchandise so all this will be part of the process, said Musunamasi.
As a corporate body, Vodafone is committed to the empowerment of community development by sponsoring as many civic and community projects as possible that ensures uniformity and maximum benefit for all the people of Fiji.
Vodafone Fijis sponsorship deal for the FNRL is extended up to 2017.
Meanwhile, the Vodafone Fiji Bati plays Australia in a semi-final double header match November 23rd at Wembley Stadium, London.