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Insurance company AMI is the sponsor of the Canterbury Crusaders Super 15 Rugby franchise. Earthquake-related insurance claims made against AMI exceeded its reinsurance cover, which resulted in a government pledge of NZ$500 million to support AMI to meet its financial obligations. AMI's financial position has led to concerns that AMI may not be able to continue its sponsorship of the Crusaders.

With AMI stadium unavailable, the Crusaders have been forced to reschedule their home matches outside of Christchurch. One such initiative took them to London to play against the Sharks (Natal, South Africa). The match was designed to raise money for the Earthquake Appeal, provide an opportunity for the large New Zealand expatriate community in the UK to mourn, and consolidate the Crusaders' financial position. However, the match produced only a "pretty modest surplus" as only 35,000 attended the match--20,000 fewer than budgeted.

The relocated match was supported by SANZAR, but SANZAR made it clear that "The match is being played in London due to a unique set of circumstances and should be viewed as a 'one-off rather than a new trend of moving Super Rugby matches outside of their usual territories."

Geoff Dickson

Division of Sport and Recreation

Auckland University of Technology

Email: geoff.dickson@aut.ac.nz

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Title Annotation:New Zealand
Author:Dickson, Geoff
Publication:Sport Marketing Quarterly
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Sep 1, 2011
Words:212
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