October 12, 2012
All Blacks announce new major sponsor in AIG
By SANZAR News Service, the NZRU and AIG Group
American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) and the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) announced today a five-and-a-half year agreement for AIG to sponsor six NZRU rugby teams: the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, All Blacks Sevens, New Zealand Black Ferns (women's fifteens), New Zealand Women's Sevens, and New Zealand Under 20. Financial terms of the sponsorship agreement are not being disclosed.
"Prominently associating the AIG brand with the legendary All Blacks and the highly competitive and successful New Zealand Rugby Union teams, as well as passionate rugby fans around the world, represents a tremendous opportunity for AIG, the NZRU, and rugby," said Bob Benmosche, AIG President and Chief Executive Officer. "The All Blacks' winning tradition and reputation for tenacity, integrity, and performance reflect attributes in AIG's own culture. We are extremely honored to be the All Blacks' new front-of-jersey sponsor and excited by the benefits that come with the teaming of two world-class franchises. Together, AIG and the NZRU are a powerful global partnership, symbolizing strength and potential.”
"The AIG sponsorship is a game changer for rugby in New Zealand and will take New Zealand rugby to new heights around the world," said Steve Tew, NZRU Chief Executive. "We need to ensure the game flourishes at the community level and upwards so that New Zealand can keep producing world champion teams and the best players in the world. A new logo on the All Blacks jersey is not a step we have taken lightly - we respect the rich and proud heritage of this extraordinary team, and carefully weighed the change. In the end, the AIG sponsorship is an unprecedented opportunity, and the best option to sustain the future of New Zealand rugby and grow the global game."
The refreshed AIG logo will be prominently displayed in contrasting white on the historically black front of the jerseys and back of shorts for the four men's teams, and front of the jerseys for the two women's teams. The new jersey will be worn by the All Blacks Sevens for the first tournament of the 2012/13 HSBC Sevens World Series tournament on the Gold Coast in Australia, October 13, in a game against the United States Eagle 7s. On the All Blacks jersey, AIG's logo is just under one third the size of the maximum allowed under International Rugby Board guidelines, in consideration of the historical significance of that jersey.
This sponsorship solidifies AIG's commitment to the sport of rugby. On October 2, 2012, AIG announced that it had entered into an agreement to become the official front-of-jersey sponsor for USA Rugby's men's and women's Junior and Collegiate All-American teams. AIG will also work with USA Rugby to grow its Rookie Rugby "Rugby in a Box" youth developmental program, an assertion of the company's commitment to grow the sport at every level around the world.
Mr. Benmosche concluded: "Rugby is popular around the globe and growing rapidly in the United States, and the top rugby nations align with regions where AIG is strongly represented and is targeting growth."
About New Zealand Rugby and the New Zealand Rugby Union
Rugby is New Zealand's national game, which is played by nearly 150,000 men, women and children who are affiliated to more than 500 rugby clubs.
From this small base, New Zealand dominates the global game, regularly producing world champion teams in all forms of the game. Its national team is the legendary All Blacks – the most successful international rugby team of all time and one of the most successful teams in world sport, with a winning Test record of more than 75 percent. The All Blacks are the current Rugby World Cup Champions. The All Blacks Sevens, who play the seven-a-side shorter version of the game, have won the IRB Sevens World Series 10 times, the Maori All Blacks regularly beat international sides, the New Zealand Under 20 team has been world champions four times and the Black Ferns, the women's fifteen a-side team, has won four consecutive world titles.
New Zealand Sevens teams will also be competing for gold for the first time when rugby returns to the Olympics at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The game is administered by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), formed in 1892. This is one of New Zealand's largest sporting organizations, and is charged with fostering, developing, promoting, and representing the game of rugby in New Zealand.
For more information about New Zealand rugby, visit www.allblacks.com.
About AIG Insurance Operations in New Zealand
AIG has been providing insurance services to New Zealand since 1970, with technical expertise and local underwriting capability in Auckland and Wellington. AIG in New Zealand specializes in structuring tailor-made insurance solutions to help protect New Zealand businesses against financial losses that may result from major operating risks. We help protect our clients' assets, liabilities, and revenue streams, no matter how large or small. From major global programs to packaged multi-risk solutions, AIG's strength in New Zealand lies in its global strength and capacity, together with our local expertise. AIG's operations in New Zealand have an A- (Strong) insurer financial strength rating given by Standard & Poor's (Australia) Pty Ltd.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.