AIG Dealing With The New Zealand Rugby Union To Sponsor All Blacks
The New Zealand Rugby Union refuses to "confirm or deny a report that a sponsor's logo could be emblazoned on the famous" black jersey, according to the AP. The NZRU and American International Group are in negotiations to place the insurance company's logo "on the front of the playing strip." Since the All Blacks began playing in the late 1880's, the front of the playing strip "has been free of advertising." The NZRU initially refused to comment, but their "stance softened a little" after Jed Thian of the Alternative Rugby Commentary website "spoke about an impending sponsorship deal" with AIG on Radio New Zealand. NZRU CEO Steve Tew gave the following statement: "As is normal for our organisation, we are discussing opportunities with a number of potential sponsors across a range of categories." It is believed AIG have signed a five-year deal, "which includes logos on the All Blacks' shorts and shirt sleeves" (AP, 7/6).