Cash support

ONE of Waikato, New Zealand’s business leaders, Dallas Fisher, says corporate support could contribute to Fiji’s success in its bid to host one of the tournaments of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Fisher, the managing director of 37 South Events Ltd and Montana Catering, which catered for the inaugural Hamilton 7s in Waikato, Zealand for the past two days, said corporate assistance was needed to stage a big sports event successfully.

He is one of the respected businessmen in Hamilton.

“It is important to have corporates help in big events like this,” he said.

He made the comment when media personnel who covered the tournament were treated to breakfast at the famous Hamilton Gardens yesterday morning.

“We gathered a group of corporate organisations to help in the organising of this tournament and it was successful.

“Corporate organisations, government and the public should help. It is important that everyone help. Success will come from everyone’s help.”

Tickets to the Hamilton 7s were sold out last September, four months before kick-off.

Sixteen nations competed in the tournament and the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team is one of the favourites of the event with our flamboyant flair and unique style of rugby in the abbreviated code.

The FMG Waikato Stadium was a sea of blue as Fijians and Fiji rugby fans strongly supported the national side.

In the two days, Fiji, through the fans and the team, was televised to about 150 countries around the world with viewers expected to cross millions excluding those who were part of the tournament through internet, social media, media outlets, and other forms of promotions.

Statistics obtained from World Rugby state that rugby’s fan base has increased by 88 million since 2015 to 338 million, driven by the impact and visibility of rugby sevens’ Olympic Games inclusion.

* Video views have increased from 17.5m in 2014/15, 60m in 2015/16 and over 75m in 2016/17.

* Facebook followers have grown by more than 335,000 since 2015

* Instagram followers have grown by more than 800,000 since 2015

Dallas said the Hamilton 7s raked in about $5 million to the city.

“To be successful the tournament has to be turned into a festival atmosphere to cater for everyone, especially the family where you have rugby, entertainment, live music and hospitality for everyone.

The Fiji Rugby Union is expected to know the results of its bid in June.

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