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Winning deal

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The FIJI Rugby Union has cleared the air on the incentives received by the Vodafone Fiji 7s players under the new sponsorship package compared with the former sponsorship by Digicel.

FRU board member Baljeet Singh said the $40million sponsorship package not only benefitted the players financially but more so in kind.

Singh didn't elaborate on the finer details of the benefits in kind.

Queries have been raised about why despite the increase in the total sponsorship, our 7s gladiators are receiving less in cash compared with what they used to receive from the former sponsor.

Under the new sponsorship deal, the side shares $25,000 for winning an IRB 7s tournament, $10,000 for reaching the semi-final and $15,000 for losing the final.

However, under the former sponsorship arrangement, the team shared $66,778 for winning an IRB 7s tournament, $22,895 for losing in the final, $19,079 for reaching the semi-final and $15,264 for reaching the quarter-final.

For last year's Hong Kong win and Japan 7s quarter-final finish, the then Digicel-sponsored Fiji team was presented with $82,042.15 compared with this year's Japan 7s win and Hong Kong 7s semi-final for which they received a total of $35,000.

When asked about the reduction in prizemoney, Singh said the new sponsorships not only focused on the prizemoney but more so the welfare of the players for long-term.

"There is more to the incentives, there are lot of other things in kind," he said.

"We are trying to get the package together and make sure to secure these players.

"We are not looking for short-term bonuses but for a long-term win-win situation for the players, the people of Fiji and the Rugby House.

"Winning side is one thing but the board is thinking of contracting the players for long term.

"There will be contracts for Tier One and Tier Two players and they will be paid accordingly so the ownership lies with the FRU.

Singh said the rugby house would wait for national coach Ben Ryan to provide the list of contracted players.

"We will wait for Ryan to give us the names of Tier One and Tier Two players before the contract starts next year."

Singh said a few other companies have declared their interest to sponsor FRU.

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