Rugby Singapore and Fiji Airways ink three-year partnership
The HSBC World Rugby Seven Series trophy will be on board when Fiji Airways makes its maiden flight from Nadi Airport into Singapore on April 5, in what will be the first sign of an instinctive - and timely - partnership.
Rugby Singapore announced yesterday that Fiji Airways will be the official airline for the HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens from April 16-17 in a three-year partnership of cash and kind.
The partnership will see convenient passage for fans of the Flying Fijians, who are defending champions of the series, while also opening the door to further rugby-centric partnerships.
"It's definitely important to get a global audience in the stadium, and this (partnership) will help raise the profile of Singapore as a global sporting city. And we are already building on this relationship by having the Fiji team stay on for an extra two days after the tournament to conduct clinics with our players," said Singapore Rugby Union president, Low Teo Ping, at the official announcement at the National Stadium yesterday.
Brokered by local sports marketing firm Enterprise Sports Group, the partnership is expected to see some 1,000 Fijian fans at the National Stadium in April.
"I said (there would be) between 500 and 1,000, but that's a conservative estimate. Fijians are die-hard rugby fans," said Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji's Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Public Enterprises, Public Service and Communications.
"This sponsorship is only the beginning of what we envision will be a long and fruitful partnership between our two countries.
"Rugby is one avenue where Fiji Airways can increase awareness of its direct flights, and all the trade and investment opportunities now possible between Fiji and Singapore."
Low is already looking to deepen the relationship between the two countries through rugby.
"We are already in talks about an exchange programme that could see our teams going over to Fiji to train," said Low. "And also (we could learn) about the development process, about how we promote the sport to the young ones."
After four legs, Fiji are joint leaders of the Sevens Series, along with South Africa and New Zealand.
The next stop is Las Vegas, followed by Vancouver and Hong Kong, before the rugby festival heads to Singapore.
Paris and London are the final two stops of the 2016 calendar.