As a former Canadian National Team Rugby player, I learned the power of the collective. A team aligned by a common goal is always more successful than any individual player on his own. This unity enables a team to leverage individual strengths and mitigate individual weaknesses by working together. Just the other day, I shared a pint with some old Team Canada teammates back in Victoria, BC after their recent rugby 7’s successes in Las Vegas and Wellington, and it was evident the team cohesion is even tighter than it was before – and paying dividends, having placed 3rd and 6th respectively.
This same ideology is now being applied in the sponsorship world with the recent 5-year $40M partnership investment by a consortium of companies in the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU); and new opportunities may arise for other organizations, including our own Canadian team, to follow suit. The consortium includes some powerful brands such as Vodafone, Fiji Airways, CJ Patel, HFC, Telecom and Fijian Holdings; many of which are Fijian national brands.
There are many benefits associated with investing as a consortium, for both the FRU and their new corporate partners. The consortium approach helps mitigate the risk of losing out on positive returns on their sponsorship investment by collaborating with one another, and the FRU to maximize exposure, brand growth and consumer engagement. The PR generated by the announcement of this sponsorship consortium alone resulted in a great deal of buzz and positive feedback – building brand affinity and helping the partners resonate with consumers who love their national sport.
The storylines the FRU can provide to this new family of corporate partners will help them connect directly with the country’s passion point – there isn’t much more that inspires passion, loyalty and ritual in Fiji than rugby. Fijian players will now receive the funding they need to train and perform at their best, and the FRU can invest in necessary resources to enhance its rugby prowess by building better training centres and development programs to grow the game for future generations.
The opportunity to enhance the game of rugby in Fiji is in the hands of this consortium if activated authentically. Leveraging their new affiliation will ingrain these brands in the fabric of Fiji’s favourite game – building a new generation of Fijian rugby players (and fans), from grassroots to podium.
There are many benefits for organizations and brands that choose to follow the FRU’s lead and embrace the power of sponsorship as a consortium. Just like when our Canadian National Rugby team takes the pitch to battle international competition, their team knows that in any group dynamic, the power of the collective is always greater than the sum of its individual parts.