ANZ and the International Rugby Board (IRB) on Thursday announced ANZ as the presenting rights sponsor of a series of tournaments across the Pacific region, including the IRB Pacific Nations Cup, the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup and the FORU Oceania Cup. The sponsorship is for the next three years.
ANZ CEO Pacific, Mr Craig Sims, said: "Rugby is a sport that's very close to the hearts of many Pacific Islanders, and as the leading bank in the Pacific with close links to the communities in the countries in which we operate, we are delighted to partner with the IRB for these significant events.
"These events link ANZ's key markets in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific and provide us with a great opportunity to promote our geographical reach."
"ANZ has a long association with sporting events across the Pacific. We were the presenting partner for the 2003 and 2007 South Pacific Games and have been supporting mini-tennis across the region for a number of years," Mr Sims said.
IRB Chief Executive Mike Miller said: "The IRB is committed to developing Rugby around the world including the Pacific region. This is highlighted by the recent announcement that the second phase of the strategic investment programme will see a further US$94 million invested in the Game. This includes the continued delivery of development initiatives and key tournaments in the Pacific region that provide player development pathways.
"The IRB is delighted that these quality tournaments are now well established and attracting commercial support through companies such as ANZ. We are delighted to welcome ANZ to the international Rugby family and look forward to working with them through these exciting tournaments."
IRB General Manager Pacific Islands, William Glenwright added: "Commercial support for these important regional tournaments is crucial to their ongoing success. In sponsoring these Pacific Rim tournaments ANZ will assist in providing the platforms that provide invaluable opportunities for emerging players to experience high level international competition."
The sponsorship covers the IRB Pacific Nations Cup during June and July, the Oceania Cup in August and September and the recently completed IRB Pacific Rugby Cup.