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Rugby Ball Kicks Off In London In November

Rugby Ball Kicks Off In London In November

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Rugby Ball in London mock up

July 4, 2008


The New Zealand giant inflatable rugby ball’s installation in London will be timed to coincide with the All Blacks Rugby Tour and a brand new tourism campaign in the UK – giving New Zealand a huge boost in profile in November.

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that the Rugby Ball Venue would make its second public appearance on Potters Fields Park near London’s Tower Bridge from November 25 to December 2 this year.

Its presence will coincide with the All Blacks Grand Slam Tour and match against England on November 29.

The Ball will also be in London at a crucial time for Tourism New Zealand as it will coincide with the launch of a major tactical campaign in the UK.

“The first push for Tourism New Zealand’s new UK campaign will end in November and the Rugby Ball will be a great PR opportunity and a huge public billboard at just the right time,” Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said.

The International Rugby Board also announced today that it will use the Ball as the venue for the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool Allocation Draw on December 1.

Mr Hickton said: “The Ball is a great way to attract attention to New Zealand now and in the run-up to when it’s New Zealand’s turn to host the Rugby World Cup in 2011.”

The Ball was built last year as a cross-Government, New Zealand Inc project to promote New Zealand. It first went up in Paris during the final stages of Rugby World Cup 2007.

“We already know that the Ball is a great way to get New Zealand noticed, almost 138 million people were exposed to coverage of the Ball, or saw it in person when it went up in Paris last year,” Mr Hickton said.

The UK remains a key market for New Zealand. It is New Zealand’s second largest market for international visitors bringing almost 300,000 visitors a year who spend almost $1 billion.

Potters Fields Park Management Trust said it was delighted to welcome Tourism New Zealand to the park for the launch of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

“We very much hope that as many people as possible will visit the Rugby Ball on the park during November and December and learn more about this beautiful country,” a spokesman said.

“Potters Fields Park is situated between City Hall and Tower Bridge; with stunning views of the bridge, the Tower of London and the City it is the ideal location to host such a prestigious event as the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool Allocation Draw,” he added.


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