Telstra converts Australian Rugby Union sponsorship
Telstra announced today it had signed a two-year agreement with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) designed to boost grass roots rugby across Australia by sponsoring the ARU's Community Rugby program. Telstra Group Managing Director, Consumer and Marketing, Mr David Moffatt, said Telstra was very pleased to support the ARU and to help bring rugby to Australian fans and players at a community level. "We see our exclusive sponsorship as a good opportunity to support the members and fans of the domestic competition as well as Australia's 852 registered local rugby union clubs," Mr Moffatt said. Mr Moffatt said that while Telstra had held preliminary discussions with the ARU about naming rights sponsorship opportunities last year, the ARU came back in early February with a very appealing Community Rugby proposal that was two levels below naming rights. "This sponsorship opportunity is ideal for Telstra as it involves taking the high profile sport of rugby to the community level for a much lesser investment than would be required for the naming rights ARU sponsorship," Mr Moffatt said. As the Official Sponsor of ARU Community Rugby Telstra will be supporting: · Coach and match official education · Volunteer recognition · Invasion games · TryRugby · Smart Rugby · Junior pathways · MyRugby (community Rugby internet) · Senior Rugby Telstra will sponsor activity in all Australian states including specific sponsorships with the NSW Rugby Union, QLD Rugby Union and the ACT Rugby Union. Under Telstra's agreement with the ARU, Telstra will also be a gold level sponsor of the Wallabies, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies. Mr Moffatt said Telstra would build upon the success of its sponsorship of Rugby World Cup 2003, particularly through its localised community activities. "Last year's Rugby World Cup highlighted the nation's passion for rugby union," he said. "We look forward to recapturing the sprit at a local level with our sponsorship of the ARU." Telstra has a proud tradition as Australia's number one sporting supporter, sponsoring the National Rugby League, Australia's Olympic and Paralympic teams, Athletics Australia, Australian Swimming and Surf Lifesaving Australia. Telstra plans to leverage its sponsorship through community activities, branding at events, on-ground commercials and promotional activities. ARU General Manager of Commercial Operations, Brian Thorburn, said Telstra's support at the community rugby level represents a unique opportunity with participation booming off the back of a successful Rugby World Cup. "The timing could not be better. This is a wonderful opportunity for Rugby and we are thrilled to have such a committed and iconic Australian organization as Telstra driving our game forward," Mr Thorburn said. "We are rolling out a range of exciting programs such as TryRugby, and Smart Rugby plus the ARU Pathway program through our junior clubs and schools. Telstra wants to get behind this growth which is happening in every state and territory. "Telstra's investment in rugby at a local level is a big vote of confidence in the future of the game. Like rugby union, Telstra touches the lives of communities across the nation. By joining forces, we have created a dynamic new partnership." Telstra's sponsorship also entails being the official telecommunications sponsor of the Wallabies and naming rights sponsor of community and junior rugby teams and the Australian Rugby Shield. Broadcast quality audio news grabs are available from: www.mediagame.com.au If you have any questions on how to retrieve these contact Media Game on 0414 393 703.