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The University of Otago has become one of the major sponsors of the Dunedin-based Highlanders rugby team.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne said the move is designed to raise the university's profile.
"[Forsyth Barr] Stadium and the Highlanders will be a canvas to highlight the University of Otago, which is located literally on the doorstep of this world-class facility," she says.
"Rugby is not just a game on a Saturday night - it's a business as well. When you look at the high-level skills that have been used to develop professional rugby success - the expertise in medical, physiotherapy, marketing and business areas, the science in clothing and nutrition - a lot of this has come from students, graduates, researchers and teachers from the University of Otago."
The sponsorship will bring the university's name to the back of the Highlanders' jerseys, and the university's logo will also be painted on the stadium field and appear on sideline digital signage during games at the Dunedin stadium.
University television advertisements will play at the stadium during intervals, and players will involve themselves in more university events and academic initiatives.
Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark said he was delighted to welcome the University of Otago.
"We congratulate them on becoming the first university in the country to align with a professional rugby franchise in such a significant way. Good business strategy, innovation and support for the community have long been hallmarks of the University of Otago and this unique partnership certainly continues that legacy," he says.