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Chairman of FRU Mr. Waqabaca, Board Members, CEO and Representatives of Sponsorship Consortium, members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen.’

It is indeed a great occasion for all present here tonight to celebrate the achievement of the highest ever corporate sponsorship in FRU’s history made possible
through our consortium of sponsors.  It is an understatement to say that Fiji is a Rugby crazy nation.  Just as the whole of Australia comes to a standstill when the
Melbourne Cup takes place, so does Fiji when Hong Kong 7’s is played.  
 
Such is our passion for Rugby in the country, uniting us all through a common thread. As sponsors we would like us all to be proud of our country and be patriotic
through the passion for rugby. 
 
Vodafone was the sponsor of the National 7’s side from 1994 to 2004. During that period, we have recorded some of our most memorable wins to-date. It’s during
our sponsorship that we won the country’s first ever World Cup of any sport- the 7’s World Cup –the Melrose Cup in 1997.  
 
It is during our reign as sponsors, that players such as Waisale Serevi, Marika Vunibaka, Sireli Bobo and many others greats were brought into limelight.  These
players are still revered and respected for bringing countless memorable victories to our country.
 
Other notable achievement during our previous sponsorship stint includes:
 
A hat rick of wins at the Honk Kong 7’s from 1997 to 1999.
 
· 1997 Rugby World Cup Sevens Champions
· 1998 Commonwealth Games Silver Medal
· 2002 Commonwealth Games Silver Medal
· 2006 Commonwealth Games Bronze
· 2001 World Games Gold
· 1995, 1999, 2003, Pacific Games Gold
 
Unfortunately, in 2005, the then FRU Marketing Executive Tim King informed us that Emirates Airlines was offering $3m for Fiji Rugby Sponsorship. Acting
in the best interest of Fiji Rugby, we stepped aside for FRU to make that deal. However, little did we know that it was all a bluff.
 
We moved on to take up the sponsorship of Fiji Rugby League aligning ourselves with Vodafone Fiji Bati. Through our sponsorship, Fiji Bati has made it to
two consecutive world cup semi-finals and is currently the fastest growing sport in the country.
 
But it’s good to be back and back we are much stronger and wiser.  And this time around let me assure all that we do have an airline as a sponsor which is for
real.  Our own award winning Fiji Airways is one of the consortium partners together with CJP, TFL HFC and off course Vodafone.
 
Our sponsorship agreement with FRU covers all aspects of Fiji Rugby.  We have partners for the youth grade, island zone, women’s rugby the national 7’s and
15’s sides and off course the popular domestic cup competitions. The idea is to put dedicated resources behind each competition to ensure that there is depth
and sustainability at all levels of FRU so that our selectors have a rich pool of talents to draw from for our national teams.
 
We are confident that our consortium will grow from strength to strength as we take Fiji Rugby Back to Winning Ways. Congratulations to all our consortium partners
as we look forward to a long and fruitful association with FRU.
 
Now ladies and gentlemen, I have much pleasure in introducing the Vodafone sponsored properties under FRU.  Vodafone has taken the naming rights to the
National 7’s team to be known as the Vodafone National 7’s.  We also have joint branding with Fiji Airways on the Vodafone 7’s team jumper. Vodafone also has
naming and jersey branding rights to the national 15”s side to be known as the Vodafone Flying Fijians.
 
With these few words ladies and gentlemen, I wish to conclude by saying that we are delighted to be back with Fiji Rugby as a consortium of strong corporate
sponsors who have Fiji Rugby at heart.  Together, we hope to take Fiji Rugby up to its true potential and do the nation proud.

Fiji Rugby Union

Managing Director- Vodafone; Aslam Khan (Middle) with players: far left ( Vodafone under 18 and under 20, far right Vodafone Flying Fijians and Fiji 7s
 

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