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Three-year partnership between ChristchurchNZ and Crusaders

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Understanding audiences and increasing visitation for rugby matches in Ōtautahi Christchurch are the driving forces behind a new partnership between ChristchurchNZ and the Crusaders.

The three-year partnership was signed in December 2020 and represents an exciting pairing of the city’s sustainable economic development agency and one of New Zealand’s strongest sporting brands.

Both organisations share international aspirations for the partnership, leveraging both the Crusaders’ strong brand equity, and the innovative and attractive city offering of Ōtautahi Christchurch.

ChristchurchNZ and the Crusaders launched a visitation campaign on 6 March encouraging Kiwis to visit Ōtautahi Christchurch before and after the Crusaders’ Super Rugby Aotearoa home matches. It builds off a successful tactical campaign in 2020 with a similar aim.

The two organisations have also commissioned a joint research project to gain insights on Christchurch as a sport event destination, intended to help guide marketing activity. This will take place throughout the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season.

Colin Mansbridge, Crusaders CEO, said they had developed a strong relationship with ChristchurchNZ over the past 18 months and was "delighted to be aligning more closely in pursuit of some common goals for our region".

"By understanding our joint ambition and connecting our investment strategies, our objective is to drive enhanced visitation and visitor experience within our region and at our games," Mansbridge said.

"To support these objectives and our partnership we are jointly investing in research and promotional activities that create deeper connections to our local and national communities."

Sam Taylor, ChristchurchNZ Acting General Manager of Marketing, Brand and Communication, said the chance to partner with the Crusaders was a great opportunity bolster city reputation and leverage one of the country’s strongest brands.

"The pairing of ChristchurchNZ and the Crusaders was a no brainer for us. Through this partnership, we intend to boost people’s willingness to travel to Ōtautahi Christchurch, while also understanding more about what drives people to attend live sport," Taylor said.

"By garnering insights on our destination proposition, we can increase the economic impact of the Crusaders’ home matches."

Economic forecasting indicates an average of 15,000 people will attend each 2021 match in Otautahi Christchurch - a total of around 92,000 across the season. This includes nearly 3000 visitors from outside the city.

Home matches are expected to generate up to $500,000 in visitor spending across the season.

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