Report: NZR in talks with Amazon over $20m All Blacks jersey deal
New Zealand Rugby [NZR] are reportedly in talks with Amazon, the world’s richest company, over a sponsorship deal with the All Blacks worth $20m per year.
According to a report from the New Zealand Herald, NZR have been in negotiations with the American tech giant for months about the possibility of replacing AIG as the front jersey sponsor for the All Blacks.
AIG, the US insurance group, have been the main jersey sponsor of the All Blacks since 2012, but their current deal with NZR, thought to be worth $12m per annum, is set to expire this year.
The Herald reports that it’s unknown whether Amazon are viewed as the preferred successors to AIG as the All Blacks’ primary jersey sponsors, but such a deal is believed would be the biggest jersey sponsorship in the history of rugby.
Worth an estimated US$386b, Amazon started out as an online book-selling company in 1994 before eventually branching out into e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence.
However, despite being one of the biggest and most recognisable names in the corporate world, it’s believed Amazon wouldn’t have the name of its company at the front of the All Blacks’ playing jersey if a deal is struck.
Instead, the Herald indicates Amazon will look to use the jersey to promote its The Climate Pledge initiative, a pact first announced by the company’s multi-billionaire owner and founder Jeff Bezos in 2019.
The initiative is aimed at holding signatories – which includes major corporations such as Microsoft and Mercedez Benz – accountable to achieving the goals set out by the Paris climate agreement a decade earlier than expected.
News of Amazon’s interest in sponsoring the All Blacks comes after it was reported last month that British petrochemical firm Ineos are set to sponsor the back of the All Blacks’ playing shorts.
The New Zealand Herald reported in June that Ineos and NZR “have all but reached terms” in an agreement worth between $5m and $8m per year.
Should both deals with Amazon and Ineos come to fruition, NZR would generate a collective total of $25m-$28m per year, if the reported figures are accurate.
According to the Herald, the diversification of sponsorship on the All Blacks’ playing and training kits is a significant revenue-generating goal of NZR’s after AIG purchased the front-of-jersey, back-of-shorts and training kit sponsorship rights nine years ago.
Amazon have previously dabbled in the business of rugby, as the US firm bought the rights to broadcast last year’s Autumn Nations Cup, while they also produced the All or Nothing documentary series with the All Blacks in 2017.
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