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Zinzan Searches For Champion Nz Rugby Supporters

Zinzan Joins Visa In Search For Champion Nz Rugby Supporters

May 19, 03 - Zinzan Brooke and Visa International have kicked off a nationwide search for the 15 most worthy supporters of rugby in New Zealand. The fifteen chosen, along with those who nominate them, will receive tickets, travel and accommodation for both Rugby World Cup 2003 semi-finals in Sydney in November.

The former international and one of New Zealand rugby’s greatest loose forwards, Zinzan is Visa’s New Zealand Ambassador for the Rugby World Cup 2003. Visa is a Worldwide partner of the tournament.

Visa’s executive vice-president for New Zealand/Australia, Gordon Wheaton, said Visa was thrilled to have Zinzan Brooke representing Visa’s sponsorship of Rugby World Cup 2003 in New Zealand. “He was a great player and he’s a very well respected figure in rugby both here and around the world”, Mr Wheaton said. “He’s one of four ambassadors Visa has appointed for the tournament and it’s an awesome line-up – with Zinny we have Francois Pienaar from South Africa, John Eales from Australia and Gavin Hastings from Scotland.”

Zinzan has returned from England, where he has been coaching English club side Coventry, to front advertising and promotional activity for Visa’s Champions of Rugby search. A major television advertising campaign to find Visa’s fifteen champion rugby supporters and featuring Zinzan, kicks off this week.

Brooke said the search was a great opportunity for Kiwi’s who’ve given so much to the game here to be recognized and rewarded and a unique opportunity for Visa, as a Rugby World Cup 2003 partner, to get them to the tournament.

“You can nominate someone you think is a great supporter of rugby and have Visa send them - and you - to two of the biggest games of rugby we’ll ever see”, said Brooke. “And I’ll be joining them.”

“We’re looking for committed supporters - like the real life examples we used in the TV ad. They could be your unpaid school team coach, the groundsman, a long-serving ref, a dedicated parent, the volunteer sandwich maker or a player who may be ‘unsung’ but a ‘champion’ as far as others are concerned. The only criteria we’re using to judge are enthusiasm, support, loyalty and ‘fandom’ for the game in New Zealand.”

People wanting to nominate a champion can do it on the competition website http:// http://www.visachampions.co.nz , through the coupon in the Sunday Star Times or by ringing 0900 VISACHAMPIONS (0900 84 722). Nominators must be Visa cardholders but nominees need not be.

In addition to fronting advertising and promotional activity, Zinzan will meet with Visa merchants, cardholders and member financial institutions.

Gordon Wheaton said Visa’s focus on getting dedicated New Zealand rugby supporters to the tournament was in the spirit of Visa’s own support for the Rugby World Cup 2003 tournament.

“Visa has supported the Rugby World Cup since 1995. That makes us one of the longest-standing partners in the event’s history”, he said.

“So we’re pleased to be offering proven supporters of the game in New Zealand a chance of getting to what will be a fabulous event.”

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