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Last Trade - 27/02/20

Sector
Financials
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £29.43bn
Enterprise Value £56.38bn
Revenue £38.75bn
Position in Universe 258th / 6409

Rugby-AIG decides against renewing sponsorship with NZ Rugby

Tue 14th January, 2020 1:05am
WELLINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - New Zealand Rugby (NZR) are
going to have seek a new major sponsor after AIG  AIG.N  on
Tuesday decided against renewing the current agreement when it
ends next year.
    The American insurance and financial services giant has
sponsored NZR's national teams since 2012 and signed a six-year
renewal in 2016, with local media reporting the agreements were
worth US$10 million to $20 million a year.
    The sponsorship, reportedly NZR's second largest behind a
multi-year contract with sportswear manufacturer adidas
 ADSGn.DE , was to end in late 2021.
    NZR's largest revenue stream comes from television
agreements, with local subscription broadcaster Sky TV
reportedly paying NZ$500 million ($331.35 million) for another
five-year term starting from 2021.
    "We have enjoyed a hugely successful and mutually beneficial
commercial partnership that has helped both AIG and NZR to
strengthen our respective brands on the world stage," NZR Chief
Executive Mark Robinson said in a statement.
    "Through this partnership, NZR and the six national teams
sponsored by AIG have been able to grow rugby's presence in new
and growing markets, with opportunities to play in new
territories and introduce our teams to new fans all over the
world."
    While the country's national teams are powerhouses of world
rugby, the small financial resources and population in New
Zealand have made it increasingly difficult for NZR to generate
similar revenues to other sports or global sporting brands.
    They announced a NZ$1.9 million loss for their last
financial year in 2018 and while they had strong net assets,
Chairman Brent Impey at its annual general meeting in April said
future projections showed a "challenging" environment.
    "Although we are pleased with our latest financial result
these are still challenging times for rugby as we look further
ahead," Impey said at the time.
    "The pressure to retain our talent and support the growth in
our community game puts pressure on our long-term financial
projections."
    The organisation is locked in a continual battle to retain
players, with clubs in Britain, France and more recently Japan
enticing All Blacks to the northern hemisphere with large
salaries.
    NZR's only leverage is a policy of picking just those who
are locally based for national sides, although they have made
exceptions in recent years to structure flexible contracts for
individual players.
    Two-time World Player of the Year Beauden Barrett, for
example, has a clause in his current four-year agreement to play
one season in Japan, while senior lock Sam Whitelock is
currently playing in Japan and will miss Super Rugby this year.

($1 = 1.5090 New Zealand dollars)

 (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
 ((Greg.Stutchbury@thomsonreuters.com; +64 4 802-8162;))
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