Almost two years into full ownership of the Vodafone Warriors, Autex has renewed its total commitment to the club.
Autex had been sole owner only a matter of months when the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year, severely impacting both its West Auckland-based business and the NRL franchise it had acquired in September 2019.
Despite the upheaval, Autex group CEO Rob Croot – also Vodafone Warriors board chairman – says the company is steadfast in its desire to make the club an NRL force.
We love rugby league and we want nothing more than the Vodafone Warriors to fulfil their potentialRob Croot Vodafone Warriors chairman
“Put simply, we love rugby league and we want nothing more than the Vodafone Warriors to fulfil their potential in the NRL and to make New Zealand proud,” he said, as Autex eyes its second anniversary as outright owner.
“Our Autex business is a family and we operate honestly, with drive and determination, and most importantly we have each other’s backs. We believe that we can support the Vodafone Warriors with strong values and help build resilience and a culture of winning.
“Covid has interrupted our plans but we remain committed to making the Vodafone Warriors a top eight club.
“We’re so proud of everyone at the club and how they’ve pulled together and kept the competition running. We’ve given up a lot and we now know we won’t be home until after the 2021 season.
“That means we will have been away from our Mount Smart Stadium base for two full seasons. We’ve got some rebuilding to do when we get back home, especially in our development and pathways programme.
Autex is really proud to be behind our Warriors and we’ll continue to do everything we can to build a club for our members and fansRob Croot Vodafone Warriors chairman
“Autex is really proud to be behind our Warriors and we’ll continue to do everything we can to build a club for our members and fans.”
Autex, designers and manufacturers of innovative acoustics and insulation products, has had a long love affair with rugby league through the Robinson family dating back to its founder the late David Robinson and now carried on by his son Mark and his family.
Since initially owning the Vodafone Warriors in a joint venture with the Carlaw Heritage Trust in 2018, Croot said Autex’s aspirations for the club hadn’t changed.
“Right now, we’d really love to be back at Mount Smart with our members and fans,” he said.
“Ultimately we want a club that New Zealand is proud of. Of course, we want to win a premiership but we also want to become a consistent top eight club.”
At the same time, Croot emphasised Autex’s vision for the Vodafone Warriors stretched well beyond football alone.
We’re really proud that we have established the Warriors Community Foundation so we can ‘do more in the ‘hood’Rob Croot Vodafone Warriors chairman
“We believe in investing in our backyards and being active contributors to the communities we live in,” he said.
“The Warriors have been delivering a range of community programmes for the past 13 years. This year we’re really proud that we have established the Warriors Community Foundation so we can ‘do more in the ‘hood’.
“The foundation will stand alone but use the Vodafone Warriors’ mana and connection to engage youth in programmes to support reading and literacy, help developing minds and bodies perform at their best through proper sleep, hydration and nutrition, and using the Warriors as a voice against domestic violence.
“As the foundation grows we want to expand our programmes to connect, educate and inspire our youth positively and proactively.”
The Warriors Community Foundation was officially launched today (June 17).
Find out more about Autex HERE.