Hilux announced as naming sponsor

New Zealand Rural Games, the new event celebrating the country’s traditional sports and rural heritage, has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with Toyota New Zealand. The event will henceforth be called the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games.

The inaugural Games takes place in Queenstown over Waitangi weekend, 6-8 February 2015. It features competitive sports including sheep dog trials, coal shovelling, ANZAXE wood chopping, Highland Games and speed shearing in which David Fagan, five-time world shearing champion from Te Kuiti, is planning to compete.


(credit – barkerphotography.co.nz)


In addition to traditional sports, the Games will feature fun participation events for spectators including kids and a full festival programme of live music and entertainment.

Andrew Davis, Assistant General Manager Marketing at Toyota New Zealand, said Toyota was excited to be involved in the New Zealand Rural Games, given the 32 years Hilux had spent as New Zealand’s favourite rural workhorse.

“To date there are more than 100,000 Hilux in use across New Zealand,” Mr Davis says, “and we know many of them are in the regions. It’s great that we are able to give something back to that community by supporting the Games.”

Hilux New Zealand Rural Games founder and trustee, Steve Hollander said the agreement was a major boost six months out from the inaugural event.

“Securing a three-year partnership with such an iconic Kiwi brand is a significant achievement. Toyota has been a supporter of the Games concept since day one and we couldn’t have hoped for a stronger or more relevant naming partner,” he said.

“Everywhere I travel around New Zealand I see a Hilux on the road or out on a farm. The Hilux brand has created its own unique legacy in this country in the same way as the Games is seeking to do. Both celebrate our important rural traditions, preserving them for future generations. Bring on the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games!”

Mr Hollander said further major sponsors will be announced over the next few weeks along with full details of the sports and entertainment programme for the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games over Waitangi weekend 2015.