Christchurch Stadium will soon have a new name, according to reports on the stuff.co.nz website. The temporary venue at Addington will be known as Orangetheory Stadium – taking its name from a global gym chain that has bought the naming rights.
Details of the deal remain confidential due to commercial sensitivity, but it is thought to be worth several hundred thousand dollars a year. Chris Mintern, acting general manager of operations for VBase which runs the stadium, told Stuff it is “a fantastic deal for the city”.
He congratulated the Christchurch Stadium Trust, which owns the venue, on securing a sponsor. Orangetheory Fitness is a franchise started in 2010 in Florida, USA, which now has 1,200 gyms in 24 countries.
New Zealand’s first Orangethory studio opened in Christchurch’s Moorhouse Avenue in November, with two more due to open in Auckland. About 20 in total are planned around the country.
The venue was known as AMI Stadium until that naming contract expired in August last year. It was built as a temporary home for rugby, league and concerts while a new central city stadium is planned.
— Stuff.co.nz Sport (@NZStuffSport) April 5, 2019
The new name will take effect on June 10. The venue will continue to be Christchurch Stadium until then. However, the gym’s orange-coloured advertising signs went up in the stadium on Friday, in time for Saturday’s Crusaders versus Brumbies Super Rugby match.
Trevor Thornton, of the Christchurch Stadium Trust, told Stuff they were “very happy” to have secured a sponsor. The arrangement would last for “a good number of years” but would not transfer to the new stadium.
“The stadium is pleased to have been able to secure this commercial arrangement,” he said, describing the contract as “helpful”. The annual price of the deal was “significantly” under the $1 million a year suggested by one branding expert. The stadium will be needed until at least late 2023, when it is hoped the new stadium could be finished.
Earlier this week, Crusaders trappings including the castle and flags were removed from the stadium in the wake of last month’s mosque shootings. The team has been under pressure to rename itself in light of the attacks, and has already dropped its displays of horsemen with swords.
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