Highlanders sign up university sponsor

20:13, Feb 10 2014

A significant sponsorship deal with Otago University has provided the Highlanders Super Rugby team with a much-needed financial boost.

Otago University will sponsor the Highlanders for the next two years, with options for a renewal.

The university's logo will appear on the team's jersey, the Dunedin Stadium field and digital signage.

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said the deal was an important one for the franchise.

"It's something we've been working to do, to sell the back of the jersey. I think we are the last team to do it. It's never an easy gig in this part of the world. From a financial perspective it allows us to hit our sponsorship budget this year, which is great."

The flow-on effect of the deal would mean less pressure would be placed on the Highlanders getting big gates at their home games this season.

Last year, the team, which began the season with great expectations after a number of high-profile signings and eventually finished second last, attracted an average gate of 14,500. This year the Highlanders had budgeted for average crowds of 13,000, less than half the capacity of Dunedin Stadium.

However, it was a much larger number that had attracted the university to the Highlanders, Clark said. "The fact that on average 250,000 people watch our games week in, week out; and it's getting their brand out to those people around the world and pumping the fact that the university is there and a pretty cool place to go."


The Southland Times