Historic Sponsorship Announced for Manu Samoa World Rugby 2015 Challenge

NEW ZEALAND: TUESDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2014: The Prime Minister of Samoa and Chairman of the Samoan Rugby Union, the Honourable Tuilaepa Fatialofa Aiono Neioti Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, today announced that the Cromwell Property Group and Redefine Properties will be the official sponsor for the Manu Samoa challenge for Rugby World Cup 2015.

“We are entering an exciting, dynamic new era for Samoan Rugby,” said the Prime Minister.

“With initiatives like this sponsorship by Cromwell and Redefine, and the All Blacks test in Apia, we are determined to put Samoa where it belongs -in the top ranks of world rugby and with a strong financial base to fund our development. We believe that with the IRB’s changes to eligibility criteria and Cromwell and Redefine’s generous support we will have the most talented, best prepared and highly motivated team ever at Rugby World Cup 2015.”

The Cromwell Property Group is an ASX listed Australian property investment and funds manager. Its largest shareholders Redefine Properties and Redefine International hold extensive property investments in South Africa, the UK and Europe. Cromwell also is a shareholder in New Zealand funds manager Oyster.

“We believe it is time that some recognition and support was given to one of the greatest rugby nurseries in the World.” said Cromwell Chairman Geoff Levy.

“On top of the commercial benefits of the sponsorship, we are passionate rugby people and see a strong Samoa as critical to a strong global game.  Unfortunately talent and commitment are not always enough in modern sport. Successful teams need funding and resources.

“Look at what David could do with just a sling.  We are very proud to be part of the Samoa Rugby Union’s drive for a better future and we believe this additional funding will be an important contributor to its success.”

The Cromwell Property Group sponsorship is extensive and includes brand identification on the sleeve of the Manu Samoa jersey in the lead up to the World Cup, plus ground signage and other benefits that will deliver significant worldwide exposure.

A key component of the sponsorship is the “Cromwell Challenge Prize”: A purse of $1 million that will go to the team if they win the World Cup. The team will receive $500,000 if they make the final but lose and $250,000 if they make a semi- final, but not the final.

“Winning the World Cup is not a fantasy. It is achievable,” said the Prime Minister.  “We have a true warrior spirit and our players have never had a prize like this put in front of them before.  Maybe this will make Samoan players think twice before they choose to play for other countries rather than Samoa. The Cromwell Challenge sponsorship is a massive step forward for us and there are other initiatives to follow.”

Paul Weighman, CEO of Cromwell agrees. “Samoa has been ranked as high as 7th in the world, despite having very limited resources. They have beaten some of the best teams in the world, like Australia, on their own turf.  One can only imagine what they can do with the same resources available to them as other top tier nations.  We are strong believers that skill and talent are better determinants of success than size and status and we expect this support will help the skill and talent that Samoa has consistently produced in the past to continue to be developed in the future and that it will contribute to greater on-field success for the team.”