By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: In one of the more astute sport sponsorship decisions, Research in Motion has signed on with the Australian Wallabies rugby union team, using the national rugby team to promote its BlackBerry brand and products.

Rugby Union is a game popular with private school educated old boys that now work for accountancy firms, which is just about spot on as the target BlackBerry market. Although rugby union is the fourth most popular of the football codes, its supporters have the highest wealth, meaning the code is attractive sponsorship option for investment banks, airlines and accountancy firms.

In a classic piece of marketing speak, RIM managing director for Australia, Adele Beachley, referred to the synergies between these two organisations.

“We believe that this partnership has great synergy, and both RIM and ARU will work together to use existing applications like BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Chalk, plus develop mobile communication tools and applications for fans, players and management,” she said.

“Our aim is to help the Wallabies enhance their use of technology and to take the team digital, using the range of BlackBerry platforms and devices.”

The release outlining this agreement says that RIM will be supplying the Wallabies and the team’s staff with BlackBerrys for them to use. In this modern digital age, it is very easy to find out what handsets the players are actually using, so looks forward to monitoring this to make sure the Wallabies are providing value for their sponsors.

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Here’s ARU MD and CEO John O’Neill.

“This is the year that Rugby makes its move on the National and International sporting stage with a new expanded Super Rugby competition, the highly anticipated Tri Nations and the Rugby World Cup,” O’Neill said.

“To have RIM on-board to help take the Qantas Wallabies and the game to our fans on the digital level is fantastic.

“Our partnership with RIM will help the team stay in touch with family and help keep our fans up to date while we are on the road.

“We are looking forward to working with RIM and their leading edge technology to develop new applications and deliver exciting content, which I am sure our fans will really enjoy.”