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Lion Nathan new sponsor of Ak Rugby, Blues

25 January 2008
MEDIA RELEASE

Lion Nathan new alcoholic beverage sponsor of Auckland Rugby and the Blues

Lion Nathan and Auckland Rugby Football Union are pleased to announce that Lion Nathan will be the new alcoholic beverage sponsor of Auckland Rugby and the Blues*. The sponsorship will be led by New Zealand’s largest beer brand Speight’s, and also includes wine and spirits. Lion Nathan beverages will be available at all Blues and Auckland Air New Zealand Cup home games, and official ARFU functions.

Lion Nathan New Zealand Managing Director Peter Kean says the sponsorship is a logical fit for the company. “Auckland is the biggest domestic market and the headquarters of Lion Nathan in New Zealand. The partnership with Auckland Rugby and the Blues provides Lion Nathan with many opportunities for hosting key customer events and activities.”

Auckland Rugby and Blues CEO Andy Dalton says the new partnership with Lion Nathan is the perfect start to the 2008 rugby season. “This sponsorship means we can rejuvenate our rugby offering to our supporters and stakeholders in a dynamic and innovative way, led by a brand that carries similar values to our own. The creation of distinctive new campaigns and events supporting the performances of our teams is an exciting prospect.”

The Speight’s brand will appear on playing jerseys for both the Blues and the Auckland Air New Zealand Cup teams. The sponsorship is a natural move for Speight’s which is growing in all domestic markets and in 2007 made a major drive into international markets, particularly the United Kingdom.

The sponsorship gives Speight’s further opportunity to share the New Zealand values it represents with the North of the country says Kean. “Speight’s stands for mateship, generosity, loyalty and practicality. While the brand originated in the South, these values are New Zealand values and what sets us apart from the rest of the world in spirit and attitude,” he says.

Speight’s has a long history supporting provincial rugby. In addition to Auckland RFU Speight’s currently sponsors a number of provincial unions of all sizes across New Zealand, including of course the Otago, North Otago and Southland unions which Speight’s remains committed to.

The sponsorship also includes naming rights for the Auckland under 85kg-restricted competition. “Sport and alcohol are both about sociability. Through our sport sponsorships we hope to demonstrate that moderate alcohol consumption can be a sociable part of any balanced lifestyle that includes physical activity,” says Kean.

Lion Nathan’s ARFU sponsorship will commence at the start of the Blues Rebel Sport Super 14 season on 16 February 2008.

ENDS

* The Rebel Sport Super 14 franchise representing Auckland, North Harbour and Northland unions

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