Published December 02, 2021 at 11:00:00

NZCIS step up to become principal partner of the Phoenix women

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Two Wellington businesses have answered the call to support the inaugural Wellington Phoenix women’s team.

New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport (NZCIS) has signed on as the principal partner for the Phoenix in the 2021/22 Liberty A-League women’s competition, while Comrad Medical Systems has also stepped up to become a premium partner.

It comes just three days after the club put out a public plea for commercial assistance as the Phoenix women faced starting their historic first campaign without any sponsorship.

NZCIS owners Malcolm Gillies and Kevin Melville reached out to the club on Monday night after talking to their general manager Jamie Tout.

“Seconds after the story broke Monday night, I had a call from Jamie asking what do you think? Well, it’s the right thing to do,” Gillies said. 

He shared phone calls with Melville and Phoenix general manager David Dome in the next 30 minutes and the deal was done.

“A partnership with the Phoenix women is not about the feel good factor, or if they are going to win the competition,” Gillies said.

“It’s a young side with an average age of 20, who have an opportunity to play professionally, inspire others and they deserve that chance as per their male counterparts.”

Dome has welcomed NZCIS and Comrad on board.

“We’re very happy to announce two new sponsorships,” Dome said.

“With a few notable exceptions corporate New Zealand is missing in action when it comes to sponsoring women’s sport,” Dome said.

“Fortunately some proud Wellingtonians have stepped up to sponsor the Wellington Phoenix women.”

“Malcolm, Kevin and NZCIS are great supporters of the Wellington Phoenix and they have answered the call when we needed them the most.

“We are also very appreciative of Glenn Stewart and Catherine Savage from Comrad Medical Systems for stepping up.

“It was looking rather bleak at the start of the week, but now New Zealand’s first professional women’s football team has two commercial partners.”

The club has been working around the clock to get the new shirts printed in time for the team’s inaugural game against the Western Sydney Wanderers at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Friday night.

“They are the first professional women’s football team in New Zealand and they need to look the part for their debut,” Dome said.

“It is the first game of the new season and it is live and free-to-air on Prime so there will be a lot of eyes on our young team.”

The Wellington Phoenix already have a partnership with NZCIS and will move the club’s offices and training base to their world-leading high performance sports hub in Upper Hutt, when it opens next year.

Dome says NZCIS is a perfect fit as the women’s principal partner.

“Like the Phoenix, NZCIS place the utmost importance in gender equality, with their new state-of-the-art facility built with both men’s and women’s sports in mind.”

The Liberty A-League Women season opener will kick-off at 7:05pm NZT on Friday, with the build-up from 6:30pm on Prime and Sky Sport 2.