“We are delighted to have ASB on board during a very exciting period for all three teams with this year’s Rugby World Cup, next year’s Olympics and the 2017 British and Irish Lions Tour,” said New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew.
The sponsorship was unveiled at an ASB staff event at the bank’s North Wharf head office in Auckland, attended by All Black and World Rugby 2014 Player of the Year Brodie Retallick, All Blacks Sevens Coach Sir Gordon Tietjens and sevens players Huriana Manuel and Sherwin Stowers.
As part of the relationship, ASB will be known as the Official Bank of New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks.
“This is a great fit for us,” said Tew. “ASB and New Zealand Rugby share similar values and goals. We both want to be the best we can be in very competitive environments and to strive for constant improvement.
“We know that customers and fans are happy when we’re on top of our game and successful. Success comes from planning well, working hard, being flexible, smart and innovative and above all; team work.
“ASB is very committed to showcasing our teams through its extensive branch network and market presence so this partnership will be very valuable in terms of helping us reach more fans in more places.”
ASB kicked off its sponsorship with a launch campaign that sees All Blacks Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock, Cory Jane, Sam Cane, and Patrick Tuipulotu take creative licence with the ASB brand initials, transposing them to form “ABs”, filmed in front of the ASB stadium at Eden Park.
ASB’s CEO, Barbara Chapman said it was ASB’s aim to work with the All Blacks and sevens teams to benefit its people and customers around the country.
“Rugby fans come from all walks of life and include people of different ages, nationalities, genders, locations and lots of other backgrounds, just like the people we employ and the customers we serve every day.
“This is about a partnership between two organisations with closely aligned values, ambitious goals and a track record of success. The team at ASB are passionate about rugby so it’s enormously exciting for everyone to be coming together with an organisation like New Zealand Rugby that shares our passion and ambition.”
As part of a light-hearted celebration to mark the new partnership, selected ASB offices and branches the length of the country along with the Bank’s website and social media channels have been rebranded “ABs”, with the letters of ASB’s name transposed to spell the abbreviated All Blacks moniker for the day and illustrating the synergies between the two teams.