The National – Friday, February 11, 2011
By KEVIN TEME
DIGICEL has taken over the naming rights of the PNGNRL competition (inter-city cup) following the early withdrawal of bemobile PNG Ltd last year.
Bemobile stepped aside citing business reasons but competitor Digicel has made a committment to sponsor the semi-professional competition for the next two years.
The competition will now be called the Digicel Cup.
Details of the sponsorship will be announced next week.
Digicel’s commercial director Lorna McPherson said the initial agreement was for the 2011 and 2012 season and they hope to confirm the sponsorship package once the PNGNRL board finalised its plans for the season ahead.
“We are not in a position to confirm the financial details or prize money but we can say that it is a significant investment in the tournament and we look forward to working with the PNGNRL to bring it to a new level with the new teams and spectators getting to experience Digicel Cup action,” McPherson said.
The significant sponsorship investment by Digicel will include the provisions of the communication services to the competition organisers and teams as well as a major marketing and promotional campaign, which will help take the country’s leading sport to a new level.
Digicel CEO John Mangos said: “Digicel is passionate about the development of the sport in PNG and rugby league is the sport of the people.
“Being the top mobile phone operator, there is a natural fit for us with the country’s premier national competition which engages with hundreds of thousands of fans right across the country.”
The major sponsor now sees Digicel becoming one of the country’s biggest investors in sport.
In welcoming the news PNGNRL board chairman Don Fox said: “Digicel’s sponsorship is fantastic news for the game, the 10 franchises and all the fans.
“Digicel will be a very welcome partner and we look forward to their assistance and support over the next few years.
“They have also sponsored other major events throughout the world and for them to support the country’s national sport will bring the game to another level.”