The Fijian Drua today announced Swire Shipping as its naming rights sponsor, and unveiled its first ever jersey, to be worn by the team in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season.
The team will now be known as the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua, and the two-year deal sees Swire Shipping take up the premium front-of-jersey branding, and also feature prominently on the full suite of team training apparel and accessories. The new jersey, to be produced by New Balance (represented by Belgravia Sports in elite sports in Australasia), is in the Club’s core colours of royal blue and teal, to reflect the deep waters of the Fijian seas and the spectacular green beauty of the Drua’s home.
We are grateful and honoured that our team will become the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua as of today. As our foundation naming rights sponsor, Swire Shipping has effectively secured its place in Fijian professional rugby history and our 2022 jersey will reflect that. To secure such a renowned and respected company is yet another show of confidence by partners in our franchise. We may be a young Club, but we are one with very strong roots
Thorburn added: “It’s quite fitting and poetic given the synergies between the names and identities of the two organisations who share similar values of quality and excellence. We are delighted to set sail on our maiden voyage with Swire Shipping and welcome them to our vuvale as our biggest sponsor. We are confident it will be a mutually beneficial journey as we steam ahead towards our inaugural season.”
Alex Pattison, Swire Shipping’s Regional Manager for the Pacific Islands, said: “Over the years, we have seen immense talent from both young men and women at grassroots rugby in Fiji. Through our sponsorship, we hope to inspire them and to provide them a springboard to enter the professional competition for rugby in the region. Also, we understand the importance of what the Drua means to the community, the economy and the positivity it will bring to Fiji, after 18 tumultuous months of COVID.”
Swire Shipping has a close association with Fiji rugby, having been a sponsor since 2017. The company is already a naming rights sponsor of the Swire Shipping Fijian Warriors, the representative Fijian team participating in the Pacific Nations Cup. “As with this latest sponsorship, our involvement in the Warriors partnership was – and still is – to give young players the opportunity to develop their rugby and life skills.”
The 2022 jersey revealed today shows the brilliant royal blue of the Swire Shipping Fijian Drua, with neat aqua teal trims. It will feature lightweight stretch polyester, NB Dry technology, and many other key attributes to be expected from the quality associated with a global brand such as New Balance. Like its brand, the jersey is designed to reflect the strong and vibrant nature of the Fijian Drua as an exciting, fearless team.
The stylised Drua icon and its sail motif features strongly across the jersey, alongside Swire Shipping, New Balance, Rooster and PacificAus Sports on the front. The back also features PacificAus Sports as well as national airline Fiji Airways. The Drua icon appears on the jersey numbers, and subtle Drua sails form part of the sublimated jersey background.
Thorburn explained: “Staying true to our home and our values is always top of mind for us as a Club. There are millions of jersey design possibilities and combinations, but it’s important we stay connected to our unique Drua identity of humility and quiet strength. Equally, we respect the reserving of the traditional Fijian rugby core colours of white and black for Fiji’s national women and mens teams. We’re proud that our new jersey showcases our identity and the journey our Drua have embarked on – a journey powered by the heart and spirit of the Fijian people.”
He stated: “Today marks one of our biggest milestones to date. The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua are on a mission to prove that we belong in Super Rugby Pacific, and we are single-mindedly focussed on making all our fans, families and stakeholders proud.”
A limited run of jerseys will be available for fans to purchase from mid-December, with the full playing and training range to be available in January.
Fiji an important hub; Swire’s commitment on other fronts
Fiji is an important hub for Swire Shipping; facilitating its liner, bulk and inland logistics businesses. Over the years, the Company has grown deep roots in the country, building close partnerships with its customers and industry players as well as with its own teams.
Beyond rugby, Swire Shipping is also deeply involved in several other major projects in the Pacific. It is working with the Micronesian Centre for Sustainable Transport (MCST) at the University of the South Pacific (USP) to support Project Cerulean which is the development of a low-carbon, low-tech, low-cost sail-assisted cargo ship to serve outlying islands that are depopulating in the Pacific Islands.
Under the Moana Taka Partnership and through Swire Shipping, private sector companies can move recyclable waste streams, where they are accumulating, out of the Pacific Island Countries & Territories (PICTs), to countries with competent, certified and sustainable recycling plants. This thus protects and improves the environment in the Pacific region. In 2020, CNCo shipped out 217.83 tonnes of low value recyclable waste which otherwise would have ended up in local landfills.
About Swire Shipping
Dedicated to facilitating and growing trade in regions where it operates, Swire Shipping provides several high frequency liner shipping services in the Asia Pacific markets providing a wide range of specialist customer solutions for project, heavy lift, refrigerated, breakbulk and mini bulk cargoes. It connects 400 ports via an extensive network of services in the Asia-Pacific and globally, and maintains a worldwide agency network in addition to its own representative offices across the Asia-Pacific, Pacific Islands, North America and Europe, providing its customers with dedicated service and expert market knowledge. In July 2021, Swire Shipping ventured into offering landside logistics services to offer its customers even greater convenience and seamless connectivity while reducing supply chain risk and complexities. These services include customs clearance, inland transportation services and cargo management solutions, which will complement its existing liner shipping products.
Swire Projects, a division under Swire Shipping Pte. Ltd., was established in October 2020 to provide specialist shipping services to the energy, renewable and infrastructure sector. By bringing together trade routes, a diversified fleet and technical expertise across the Swire Group’s marine activities, Swire Projects is set to lead a smart network of resources, enabling highly efficient, trusted and flexible shipping solutions to service clients in the project logistics sector, particularly project forwarders, EPCs, Heavy Civil and offshore energy construction players. For more information, please see [https://www.swireprojects.com].
Link to Jersey Reveal Video featuring Fijian Drau Head Coach and Players: [https://youtu.be/bDFGkFgiJaE]