ASB says it's now the official bank of the All Blacks.
The bank, which was gazumped three years ago by rival ANZ when official and exclusive bank of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, has unveiled what it describes as a multi-year partnership with New Zealand rugby. Neither the value nor the specific duration of the deal have been disclosed. ASB won't get its name of any teams' clothing.
Aside from the All Blacks, the deal also includes the New Zealand men's and women's sevens teams.
"As part of the relationship, ASB will be known as the official bank of New Zealand Rugby and the All Blacks," ASB says.
ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman is painting the sponsorship as a partnership between two organisations with similar values.
“This is about a partnership between two organisations with closely aligned values, ambitious goals and a track record of success. The team at ASB are passionate about rugby so it’s enormously exciting for everyone to be coming together with an organisation like New Zealand Rugby that shares our passion and ambition,” says Chapman.
The sponsorship will cover this year's Rugby World Cup, the sevens teams' quest for gold at next year's Olympic Games in Brazil, and the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.
Hopefully, for both the bank and New Zealand sports fans, the ASB-New Zealand Rugby Union deal will turn out better than two of the bank's recent high profile sports sponsorships.
ASB was official bank and exclusive bank of the New Zealand Olympic Committee only to be blind sided in 2012 when rival ANZ muscled in as official insurance services provider of the New Zealand Olympic Team and as an official partner of the New Zealand Olympic team. Chapman only learnt of ANZ's Olympic deal when ANZ held a party complete with fireworks display in downtown Auckland to celebrate it.
The insurance angle with the All Blacks is already covered by AIG, the multi-national insurer that was bailed with US$182 billion of taxpayers' money in 2008, and has its name on the famous black shirt. However, how about a rival bank pushing in as official KiwiSaver provider to the All Blacks?
An ASB spokesman says although the bank can't comment on the commercial terms of the contract, it has "a very positive working relationship with New Zealand Rugby."
ASB also jumped aboard Team New Zealand as the America's Cup challenger's official bank in September 2013 when the team was tantalisingly close to defeating Larry Ellison's Oracle and winning the America's Cup. We all know how that ended up. They eventually lost 9-8 having led 8-1. Hopefully ASB's rugby tie-up involves a happier result for New Zealand sports fans.