Almost all modern sports rely heavily on sponsorship money to ensure a healthy financial footing. Clubs and national team setups must invest heavily in their facilities, coaches, and players if they want to compete. While a percentage of cash comes from ticket sales and TV deals, sponsorships are an essential part of the revenue stream.
New Zealand rugby could do with a sponsorship boost to keep the All Blacks a household name on the rugby circuit. The team named to play South Africa was exceptional, but added sponsorship money could pave the way for the next generation of NZ rugby talents. It isn’t as easy as just clicking your fingers, though. Sponsorship deals require a lot of research before they can get off the ground. Keep reading for an overview of where NZ rugby can look for more sponsorship deals.
Which Industries Could Support NZ Rugby With Sponsorship Deals?
It’s not just sports brands that engage in sponsorship deals. NZ rugby could look to several other industries for help. These include:
● Beverages: Brands like Magners and Guinness have long been associated with rugby. There is no shortage of potential companies here, especially as more brands are looking to get involved. Asahi just replaced Heineken as the official 2023 Rugby World Cup sponsor, so there’s every chance NZ rugby could get in on the action.
● Online Gambling: The online casino industry has ballooned in size over the last couple of decades, putting it in the perfect position to explore sponsorship deals. Brands like Nitrocasino.com definitely have the financial muscle to help out, so we expect NZ rugby to explore this avenue in the near future.
● Gym Supplements: Rugby is an incredibly physical sport that greatly rewards physical stature. As a result, gym supplement brands are in a great position to expand their commercial reach via sponsorship deals. Protein powder producers and other supplement brands would be silly not to advertise via rugby sponsorships as it’s the perfect target audience.
● Sports Brands: Although brands like Gilbert, Canterbury, and Under Armour already have numerous sponsorship deals on the go, there can never be enough. NZ rugby should look at smaller sports brands for potential sponsorship partnerships as it would greatly benefit both parties.
How Can NZ Rugby Benefit From Sponsorships?
Sports clubs and national teams didn’t rely on sponsorships back in the early days of rugby, but nowadays, they are essential. There are several main reasons for this, but the main one is the transition from amateur to professional sport. This meant players had to be paid, significantly increasing teams’ outgoings.
Clubs and national teams also benefit from sponsorship money, allowing them to invest in superior training facilities and physio departments. For example, with more sponsorship money rolling in, NZ rugby could launch an ambitious nationwide training program. Not only would this make the current All Blacks a more fearsome proposition, but it would also ensure a dominant next generation of rugby players.
Classic Rugby Sponsorship Brands
As any major rugby aficionado will tell you, there are a handful of brands that are consistent sponsors at club and international level. Some of these are too big to do direct business with NZ rugby, but they can certainly help at competitions the All Blacks compete in. Here are a few of the most famous rugby sponsorship brands:
- Gilbert: Gilbert is the oldest rugby brand in the world, having supplied the infamous Rugby School with balls and boots since before the game had even been invented. The British company has a near-monopoly on the rugby ball market and is the official ball supplier for almost every major rugby tournament worldwide.
- Land Rover: Land Rover has been a significant sponsor for worldwide rugby for over 20 years. It is a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup France 2023 but doesn’t just focus on the main events. Land Rover has also been an important sponsor for grassroots rugby in the past, regularly helping with local tournaments or youth-level competitions.
- Canterbury: Canterbury is a particularly important sponsor in New Zealand. The company originated in the Canterbury region, creating the original All Blacks kit. There is arguably no brand better poised to boost its sponsorship of NZ rugby. Hopefully we see bigger deals signed in the future.