Posted by: sabrina | October 15, 2009

All Blacks’ bathing caps

RICHIE MC CAW’S headgear looks like a bathing cap – that was the first thought that crossed my mind when I watched Rugby for the first time. I found the game incredibly funny and terribly confusing as it didn’t make any sense to me at all.

AB haka

ALL BLACK HAKA: Getting ready for 2011 (pic: ABC)

Rugby is not a big thing in my homecountry (although we actually have a  national team, I recently found out), but after having lived in New Zealand for roughly a year now, I have watched a lot of rugby. It’s still a mystery to me – but I love watching it.

Like many Kiwis, I am all excited about New Zealand hosting the Rugby Worldcup in 2011.

This major sports event is also a great opportunity for the country to draw the world’s attention on it’s positive aspects and to attract tourists from all over the globe.

Tourism NZ’s motto in their marketing campaign is: GIVE IT 100% and they want rugby fans from all parts of the world to experience Rugby as its best when coming to New Zealand in two years time.

One major aspect of their marketing campaign is the giant white rugby ball that has already accompanied the All Blacks in 2008 when touring the UK and Ireland.

Next station on the iconic ball’s journey will be the Tokyo Tower in central Tokyo, where it will open between 28 Ocotber and 3 November 2009 and over 7000 visitors are expected to enter the ball.

This marketing strategy coincidences with the All Blacks vs. Wallabies testmatch, the Japan-NZ Business Council and the Japan-NZ Partnership Forum.

Sounds good so far – New Zealand is represented, the country gets attention, which -hopefully- will result in a boost for the tourism industry and subsequently also for the economy…

BUT – as the Dominion Post reports today – there is also a downside of the story: money.

eiffel-tower-rugby-ball-1_48

STANDING TALL: The Eiffel Tower and the giant rugby ball (pic: STUFF)

When the giant ball promoted New Zealand during the Rugby Worldcup 2007 right next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, it cost $907,000.

Eight days next to the Tower Bridge in London in 2008: $1.7 million.

Seven days in Tokyo… well, accoridng to the Dominion Post who use figures given to them by Tourism NZ, it would result in a daily sum which would be six times higher than the cost per day in Paris: $2.7 million – to taxpayers’ expenses.

The huge difference in costs in Paris and Tokyo partly comes from the rent for the venue of the ball: while Paris provided rent-free ground to erect the ball, Tokyo charges a rent of $95,000 as it was difficult to find a space big enough for the ball in downtown Tokyo.

– visit the website of the Rugby World Cup 2011

– have a look at NZS’s Rugby Basics

– read the NZ Herald’s latest story on the All Blacks

visit the website of the NZ Embassy in Tokyo (press release about the giant ball)

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