14 May 08
Repco, the largest parts and accessories retailer in Australasia, has announced it will become title sponsor for both Rally New Zealand in 2008 and Rally Australia in 2009.
“Repco’s involvement with motorsport dates back to the 1960s when the company supported Sir Jack Brabham as he competed in the Formula 1 World Championship,” said Colin Daly, the company’s chief executive officer for Australasia.
“The whole trans-Tasman Repco team is behind the two event sponsorships - that’s more than 4,000 staff in 400 stores across the two countries. Repco will contribute an extraordinary level of in-store marketing support to build awareness for both of these highly regarded world-class events and we are sure that there won’t be another naming rights’ sponsorship quite like it in motorsport, or sport in general, in either New Zealand or Australia,” Daly added.
Daly confirmed that this year’s Rally New Zealand, which runs from August 28 to 31, would be the first to bear the Repco name. According to the FIA’s new rotational calendar Rally Australia returns to the WRC series in 2009, while Rally New Zealand has a year off and returns in 2010.
Daly didn’t divulge any information about Australia’s return to the WRC. “We have to wait a short while longer before dates, venue details and the route of Repco Rally Australia will be announced,” he said. “I can assure motorsport fans that Repco Rally Australia is going to be fantastic.”
Chris Carr, chairman of Rally New Zealand’s organising committee, said: “It’s just fantastic to work with a sponsor of Repco’s commercial stature. There’s a very natural alignment with Repco and Rally New Zealand and we are very much looking forward to working with the wider Repco team for our mutual benefit.”
Morrie Chandler, president of the FIA World Rally Commission said the shared deal was the first of its kind. “Repco’s sponsorship of two WRC events in two countries appears to be unique in our sport,” he said. “This decision fits well with the current rotational policy and will enable Repco to derive benefits in both markets. We, at the FIA rally commission, applaud their initiative.”
Garry Connelly, chairman of Rally Australia’s organising committee said the new deal would help both Australasian WRC rounds to work more closely together.
“We’re pleased to share this sponsor with Repco Rally New Zealand and look forward to working closely with our friends across the Tasman,” said Connelly. “I’ve already had discussions with Chris Carr regarding how we can share other resources and support both of our WRC events. Our goal is not only to promote these two events, but to lift the profile of world championship rallying, and rallying in general, in the wider Asia-Pacific region.”