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By Gareth Vaughan
ASB CEO Barbara Chapman says she doesn't believe the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) should have brought ANZ on board as an Olympics sponsor when ASB was already the "official bank" in a move she describes as "not palatable" to ASB.
Chapman told interest.co.nz the first ASB was aware of ANZ's role as "official insurance services provider of the New Zealand Olympic Team" and as an "official partner of the New Zealand Olympic team" was when ANZ held a glitzy party and a big fireworks display in downtown Auckland in May to celebrate its new sponsorship deal. (See a video of the ANZ party & fireworks here).
ASB's deal with the NZOC,as its "official bank and the exclusive bank," has been in place since July 2010.
"We became aware of it (ANZ's sponsorship role) on the night that they launched their fireworks down in the Viaduct," Chapman said. "We are the official bank and the exclusive bank of the New Zealand Olympic Committee so as you can imagine it was not a position we found particularly palatable."
"We disagree with them (the NZOC) on whether or not they did have that ability to sell that product to ANZ," Chapman (pictured) added.
She declined to comment on whether ASB was taking its disagreement with the NZOC any further in the form of legal action and/or seeking compensation.
Chapman said ASB's deal with the NZOC ended, as was always planned, after the London Olympics.
ASB would be "more cautious" before entering a sponsorship deal with the NZOC in the future.
ANZ's Olympic sponsorship was much higher profile than ASB's during the London games with particular prominence during Prime TV's coverage. ASB used its official bank status as a promotional tool for mortgages, launching "Olympic Special" home loan interest rates.
'Not an ANZ ambush'
Chapman, formerly head of marketing at ASB, made it clear her beef was with the NZOC rather than ANZ.
"I would have thought official and exclusive meant just that. But to be fair to ANZ they were not aware, to the best of my knowledge in discussions with them and I do take this on face value, they were not aware of the strength of our relationship (with the NZOC) either. So it's not a situation I would define as an ambush on their (ANZ) part."
Linley Wood, ASB's executive general manager for culture & community, told interest.co.nz earlier this month ASB's sponsorship and marketing programme associated with the London Olympics was "significant." ASB's deal with the NZOC saw it support grassroots promotion of Olympic values among children through naming rights and support of the ASB Olympic Schools programme.
'We don't seek approval from partners'
NZOC commercial & marketing director Terry Daly said the NZOC worked "extremely closely" with both ASB and ANZ to try and make sure they achieved their sponsorship objectives.
"We don’t seek approval from our partners as to who we sign in each category," Daly said. "We work with each partner to make sure that they have their own dedicated space and are able to maximise their own activation with the New Zealand Olympic brand. It is part of our sponsorship architecture which works on a return on objectives model rather than a traditional tier structure."
Daly said the NZOC was "extremely happy" with the level of exposure all partners deliver to the New Zealand Olympic team.
"We have provided multiple advertising and engagement opportunities for each of our partners to work through in order to maximise their commercial value with the team over a longer period of time rather than just the two weeks of the games."
ANZ has a three year agreement with the NZOC to be an official partner of the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Teams with a right of renewal. As official insurance services provider of the New Zealand Olympic Team, ANZ said insurance was coming via its wealth division that includes OnePath, formerly ING. ANZ's website notes aside from OnePath, some of its insurance products are underwritten by Vero and QBE.
The ANZ deal also covers the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival, 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. ANZ is also sponsoring gold medalist pairs rowers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, their fellow rower Emma Twigg, plus cyclists Natasha Hansen and Sam Webster.
Neither ASB nor ANZ would say how much they'd paid for their sponsorship deals. Daly said the NZOC generates 76% of its funding from the commercial sector such as sponsorships, with about 6% coming from the Government. Another major source of income is from global Olympic sponsors through the International Olympic Committee.