|FRU marketing manager Tevita Waqairawai (right) and members of the Waratahs marketing team. |
Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) marketing manager Tevita Waqairawai recently returned from Sydney after spending time with the marketing people from the Waratahs.
The reason for Waqairawai’s visit was to discuss and learn the commercial brand model used by the Waratahs with regard merchandising as well as getting an insight into the Waratah’s licensing programme with its sponsors.
“I was able to the meet the Waratahs general manager marketing and operations, Ms Kym Aust-Howlett, and her marketing team, and spent time discussing the intricacies of their marketing and commercial model and how the FRU can duplicate the model successfully here in Fiji,” Waqairawai said.
“While the economy of scale differs greatly between our two demographics, it is more the brand and its appeal that packaged properly will be a huge hit for FRU.”
An aspect Waqairawai found the Waratahs paid particular attention too was the need to develop and nurture a strong fan base.
“The Waratahs have built up a special relationship with their fans and have created a huge annual membership fan club which includes family packages, season packages, special seating arrangements, discounted rates on tickets prices and merchandising.”
With the Waratahs existing in an area where they compete for the marketing dollar with rugby league, Aussie Rules and soccer it’s easy to see why the Waratahs have such a strong focus on increasing and maintaining a strong fan base. However, Waqairawai believes Waratah’s focus on developing a strong fan base is something Fiji Rugby could learn from.
“I think this is definitely something the FRU can explore for its fans as it would also generate much need income for its annual operational cost.”
|The Waratahs gym. |
The Waratahs share tenancy at the world renowned Sydney Football Stadium with National Rugby League teams the Sydney Roosters and West Tigers as well as A-League side Sydney FC.
“I was privileged to be given a tour of the awesome facilities the Waratahs have and is something we at Fiji Rugby can only really dream about.”
Over the course of the coming year Waqairawai will be looking to incorporate some of the marketing and sponsorship ideas he’s learnt from the Waratahs into Fiji Rugby’s own marketing and sponsorship systems in an effort to make the Fiji Rugby brand bigger and better.