HAMILTON, NZ - A giant 2016 Gallagher Chiefs jersey adorns the building of naming rights sponsor Gallagher after it was unveiled at a special blessing ceremony yesterday. The Gallagher Chiefs squad attended the event alongside Gallagher staff and members of the media to witness the blessing of the new jersey by Ora Kihi.
The ceremony also marked the beginning of a new era, with the two-time Investec Super Rugby champions to be formally known as the Gallagher Chiefs. In 2013 it was announced that longstanding sponsor Gallagher had increased their support of the Chiefs Rugby Club to become principal partner, naming rights and front-of-jersey sponsor from 2016.
Chiefs chief executive officer Andrew Flexman acknowledged the significant support of long-standing sponsor Gallagher.
"We are extremely proud to call ourselves the Gallagher Chiefs given the long-standing partnership we have enjoyed with one of Waikato and New Zealand’s most iconic companies. In the same way that Gallagher seeks to redefine what is possible for their customers, the Gallagher Chiefs seek to redefine what is possible on and off the rugby field. We will be working extremely hard alongside Gallagher to ensure we can deliver mutually beneficial outcomes and great experiences for our fans" said Flexman.
Sir William Gallagher, the CEO and Chairman for Gallagher added: "In business at all levels, be it commercial or community, finding a partner that fits your own philosophy and ideals is always a challenge. The Chiefs tick all the boxes and we are delighted to be the naming rights sponsor. We look forward to many successful years with them".
The 2016 Gallagher Chiefs jersey brings together all elements intrinsic to the Chiefs identity. The design is based around the Whatanoa gateway standing in the corner of Waikato Stadium. The team draws great strength from this feature and many supporters pass through it to urge the Chiefs on.
The taniwha featured on the whatanoa represent the contributing unions of Waikato, Thames Valley, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, King Country and Counties Manukau. Like its predecessor this jersey features the Waikato river flowing in yellow through the design bringing together the franchise and all its supporters.
The dark background symbolises ones journey upward and trying to attain physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. The jersey celebrates success and the many great rangatira that have played a huge role in the history of the region, which over time has seen many battles. It is these great battles and moments of heroism that are encapsulated in the jersey.
Corporate Services Executive, Gallagher
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Brand Communications Coordinator, Gallagher
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