The major sponsor of the four-time national PNG champions the Lae Snax Tigers and a trusted and reputable company founded in 1972, the Lae Biscuits branding will appear on the back of the Sharks NRL shorts for the remainder of the 2023 season, beginning with their round 20 match on Sunday.
As stated by Sharks CEO Dino Mezzatesta, this association with Lae Biscuits is a ground breaking partnership and is set to be of great benefit to both organisations.
“The Lae Biscuit Company have been long time supporters of rugby league in PNG and we thank Ian Chow and Lae Biscuits for considering the Sharks as a viable partner as they look to spread their wings into the Australian market,” Mezzatesta began.
“The Sharks trialled in PNG in 2020 and were exceptionally well received, with this partnership further cementing our relationship with the only country in the world where rugby league is the national sport.
“This initial sponsorship with Lae Biscuits can only have massive upside for both and the hope would be to build this into a long-term partnership,” Mezzatesta said.
In expressing similar sentiments, Lae Biscuit Company Chairman Ian Chow explained his organisation’s current connection to rugby league in PNG and his excitement around this opportunity to link with the Sharks and the NRL.
“The Lae Snax Tigers are a big part of how PNG Rugby League has grown both locally and internationally,” Mr Chow stated. “As the owner-sponsor, through Snax brands, the Lae Biscuit Company has supported the Tigers for 13 years, spending millions of Kina, and having stability in good sponsorship has helped propel Lae Snax Tigers to higher levels.
“The Cronulla Sharks being a powerful NRL team is similar in many ways to the Lae Snax Tigers in PNG. The Sharks won the 2016 NRL Grand Final, the same year the Snax Tigers won its first premiership in PNG.
“This no coincidence. Fate has worked out as the Snax Tigers and Cronulla Sharks are now about to form a relationship and partnership that can hopefully be sustained for many years to come,” he added.
From its humble beginnings, the Lae Biscuit Company has grown into the largest biscuit producer in the Pacific, with a newly opened factory and a Snax noodles line catering to the needs of every Papua New Guinean.
The Lae Biscuit Company has continued to create employment opportunities, top notch customer service and quality product, while supporting the community by providing assistance to local projects, sporting events and disaster relief.
However, in confirming their ongoing support of rugby league and the attraction of becoming involved with the NRL and the Sharks, is the impressive history of success for the Tigers since the inception of the domestic PNG competition in 2011 when the sponsorship of Lae Biscuts and the Snax brand began.
The Lae Snax Tigers have won local premierships in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2022, and they head into the upcoming Finals series placed second. They have appeared in five grand finals, while winning six minor premierships.
The rugby league career of Storm premiership winning centre Justin Olam began with the Lae Snax Tigers, so too Edwin Ipape who plays for Leigh in the UK Superleague and is one of many from the club to have represented the PNG Kumuls.
Stanley Tepend, the Coach of the Kumuls at the 2022 World Cup also hails from the Lae Snax Tigers, who in recent seasons have provided numerous players as a feeder club to the PNG Hunters who compete in the Queensland Cup competition.
“The Lae Snax Tigers have good team culture, which has continued to build dating back to 2011,” Chow said.
“We continue to educate our players in building good men off the field and have a sponsorship policy, paying all tuition fees for all higher education students playing for the Snax Tigers each year as part of their playing contracts.
“This is enormous and unprecedented in PNG for a private company to do this. More than just a team and more the just a sponsor, the energy between Lae Biscuit Company and Lae Snax Tigers is highly valued and regarded in PNG,” said Chow proudly.
The Lae Biscuit Company Limited logo will get its introduction to the NRL on the back right panel of the Sharks NRL shorts when they play the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.