The Fiji Rugby Union has signed a sponsorship deal with a consortium led by mobile phone operator Vodafone, an agreement worth F$40 million ($21.4 million) over five years, the national governing body for the sport has said.
The consortium is headed up by Vodafone and also includes: Fijian Holdings; Home Finance Company; Fiji Airways; CJ Patel (Pacific) Ltd; and Telecom Fiji.
The F$8-million-per-year deal replaces the FRU’s sponsorship agreement with Digicel, the Caribbean telecommunications operator.
Sponsorship of both the 15-a-side team and sevens side is included in the agreement. The Fiji Airways logo is to appear on the front of the national team’s jersey, while the Vodafone logo appears on the back and on the collar.
Filimoni Waqabaca, the FRU chairman, said the new deal represents a “game-changing moment for Fiji rugby."
He claimed that the funding would ease some of the burden on the union, which in recent times has sacked its national team coach to save funds and had financial aid from the International Rugby Board suspended.