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SBD Global/October 15, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
AIG To Sponsor All Blacks In Five-And-A-Half Year Deal
Published October 15, 2012
TOUGH OFFER TO TURN DOWN: The APNZ noted that with the current economic climate affecting all sizes of businesses, the NZRU "would have been remiss to turn down the multimillion-dollar deal" offered by AIG. The deal, which will run until May '18, is "believed to be the second-most valuable sponsorship agreement in world rugby -- trailing only the NZRU's current partnership with adidas." Tew added, "We are in a challenging time in this world we live in. We have a business that has roughly $100M turnover a year -- it needs to be significantly more than that if we're going to survive, if we're going to grow the game at the community level and if we're going to retain players. It's a challenge for us, and we need some money" (APNZ, 10/13).
DEALING WITH THE BACKLASH: The AFP reported that All Blacks’ fans "reacted angrily to the NZRU’s controversial decision" to sell commercial space on the front of the club's jersey. The All Blacks’ official Facebook page has been flooded with comments from passionate New Zealanders who object to having the name splashed across the front of the side’s shirt. Purists called the decision a “disgrace” and "disrespectful" (AFP, 10/14).
SHOW ME THE MONEY: In Auckland, Richard Loe wrote that most rugby people realize that "the modern game needs revenue, and a lot of it." There has been "a lot of publicity in recent years about the difficulty of keeping professional rugby afloat in this part of the world, compared to the big money that sloshes around in the northern hemisphere where they have the population base and the big financial numbers that go with it." Loe concluded: "So that leaves one question -- what's the best use of the money by the NZRU? For me, the answer is simple -- the ITM Cup and Heartland rugby" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 10/14).
REHABBING THE BRAND: In N.Y., Baynes & Tracer wrote AIG CEO Robert Benmosche wants to "revive a brand that his predecessor Edward Liddy dismissed as 'wounded and disgraced' in '09 amid a U.S. bailout that swelled in value to $182.3B and was repaid last month." Benmosche is scheduled to ring the opening bell at the N.Y. Stock Exchange next week and unveil a redesigned logo (BLOOMBERG, 10/12).