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Vodafone has re-signed with the Vodafone Warriors until the end of the 2018 NRL season, marking a 20-season, loyal partnership and New Zealand’s longest professional naming rights sponsorship.
The announcement comes as the Vodafone Warriors are coincidentally counting down to the start of their 20th season since entering the competition in 1995.
Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners is proud of the company’s legacy with the club.
“Every year our partnership with the Vodafone Warriors has become stronger and more enduring,” he said.
“We are loyal fans as much as sponsors and we know Kiwis are too. That’s why we do this; to bring our customers and fans closer to the team they love – whether at home or in the stands.
“The Vodafone Warriors are one of New Zealand’s most loved sports teams, with a cumulative New Zealand broadcast audience of more than 3.3 million people in 2013.
“We look forward to supporting the Vodafone Warriors over the next five seasons. In 2014, we will be bringing some exciting mobile innovations to help our fans and customers throughout New Zealand better support the team.”
Vodafone’s renewal extends throughout the club, including the Vodafone Junior Warriors (under 20s) and the new Vodafone Warriors reserve grade side replacing the Auckland Vulcans in the New South Wales Cup.
Since signing with New Zealand’s only team in the NRL in 1999, the company has made a significant investment to the club and supported it through thick and thin.
“Vodafone’s loyalty in their support of the Vodafone Warriors has been nothing short of world-class,” said Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah.
“A 20-season partnership is almost unheard of in the era of professional sport and demonstrates Vodafone’s complete commitment to the Vodafone Warriors, the players and most of all, our fans.”
Vodafone Warriors 19th man Sir Peter Leitch added: “Vodafone Warriors fans are loyal. It’s about the game and the people, and Vodafone is hugely supportive of both the club and the fans. Go the mighty Vodafone Warriors!”
During Vodafone’s sponsorship era, the Vodafone Warriors have twice made the NRL grand final (in 2002 and 2011), won the minor premiership in 2002, secured a spot in the play-offs seven times and claimed the NYC premiership twice (2010 and 2011).
Across 15 seasons so far, Vodafone’s name and logo has been on the front and back of the jersey, serving to make Vodafone arguably the most visible and recognisable sporting sponsor in the country.
The period has coincided with Vodafone Warriors jerseys becoming the hottest on the NRL market, the club accounting for about 20 percent of the NRL’s total merchandise revenue.
The Vodafone Warriors start the 2014 NRL season away to the Parramatta Eels on Sunday, March 9 before returning to Eden Park on Saturday, March 15 (5.00pm kick-off) for the second round home clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
• Two NRL grand finals – 2002 and 2011
• Seven times in the playoffs – 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
• Minor premiership win – 2002
• First home games at Eden Park – 2011, 2012, 2013
• First home game out of Auckland – 2013 (Wellington)
• Two NYC premierships – 2010, 2011
• NYC minor premiership – 2011