Rugby World Cup 2011 to Drive US$1.67bn into Global Sports Economy: New MasterCard Research
Auckland, 13 September 2011: Rugby World Cup 2011 could generate US$1.67 billion (NZ$2 billion) for the global sports economy with overseas visitors to New Zealand generating US$654 million (NZ$782.5 million), according to new research commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide.
MasterCard's research-the Economic Impact on Global Rugby Part IV: Rugby World Cup 2011-finds that sport associated economic activity may be worth up to US$11.7 billion (NZ$14 billion) to the New Zealand economy by the end of the decade.
The research is the fourth installment in a series commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide and undertaken by the Centre for the International Business of Sport (CIBS) at Coventry University, following economic impact reports on the 2010 Six Nations and Tri Nations Rugby Tournaments and a report on Rugby's Emerging Markets in April.
The latest installment examines the value of RWC 2011 by looking at the short-term commerce flow through international fans spending in bars, clubs, shops, hotels, bookmakers and inside host stadia, along with spending by sponsors and organisations on marketing in the cities around matches. It also examines the longer-term economic impacts on New Zealand's economy and the legacy of the Tournament as a whole.
Delivering the report to media and guests at a briefing in Auckland, CIBS Researcher Dave Arthur said the Tournament would stand out from its predecessors.
"This Tournament will be like no other: it will attract stronger than ever interest across the world, which will in turn boost commercial interest in and activity around the event," he said.
The report finds that by the end of the decade, consumer expenditure in the New Zealand sports economy may be worth up to US$1 billion (NZ$1.2 billion). Increased tourism, civic sponsorship and business development resulting from the Tournament is estimated to be US$1.21 billion (NZ$1.44 billion), while the number of people working in sport-related occupations could rise to between 52,000 and 58,000 by the end of the decade, according to the report.
Other factors likely to enhance short-term and long-term economic activity include the later time scheduling for RWC 2011 matches and the ongoing development of Rugby in emerging market countries such as Romania, which has seen a 222% increase of Rugby participation since Rugby World Cup 2003, and Russia, who will be competing in their first Rugby World Cup.
Rugby World Cup's enhanced brand value
The Tournament will attract stronger than ever interest across the world due to the increased strength of the Rugby World Cup brand and the significance of it returning to its spiritual home—Rugby World Cup 2011 will be the first time the Tournament has returned to the same host nation and the same Final venue since 1987.
Based on advanced ticket sales more than 95,000 international fans will be visiting New Zealand for RWC 2011, which kicked off on Friday night (September 9th). Total ticket sales, which (including domestic sales) are expected to reach 1.35 million, will generate revenue of US$224.5million (NZ$268.5 million) for Tournament organisers.
"For the Tournament to be contested in the sport's spiritual home with the host nation ranked as number one in the world and among the strongest sport brands in the world, further enhances brand equity and the appeal of Rugby World Cup," said Professor Simon Chadwick, Director of the Centre for the International Business of Sport (CIBS) at Coventry University.
"Rugby World Cup is one of the top global sports events in the world behind the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Not only will New Zealand be benefiting from its impact and legacy for years to come, but the broader global sports economy will welcome the boost that this Tournament delivers."
The late scheduling of matches-many Pool games kick off at 8.30pm, while the semi-finals and Final kick off at 9pm—are likely to encourage more spending in and around the cities hosting matches as fans enjoy the local hospitality before games, the report says. An added 'Sunday Bonus' is predicted in the form of increased numbers of people travelling to Auckland for the Final. The report says the late scheduling will also offer a boost to broadcasters with a global audience of around 4 billion people expected to tune in to watch the Tournament.
IRB Chief Executive, Mike Miller said: “RWC is one of the world's top three major sports events and the largest in the world this year. As the report underlines, it will drive significant economic activity around the globe and, in particular, in New Zealand, both during the Tournament and in the longer-term. "We have no doubt the Tournament will be spectacular and memorable. It is being contested in a nation that loves Rugby and is ranked number one in the world and will be more competitive and unpredictable than ever. Alongside the more established Rugby nations, fans will be able to see emerging nations such as Russia, who will be playing in their first RWC, and Romania where participation has risen 222% since 2003, adding to the appeal of the Tournament and inspiring further growth."
Stuart Cameron, vice president, Sponsorships, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, said: "Rugby fans from across the globe are descending on New Zealand for six weeks, and as well as engrossing themselves in the best the sport has to offer, they will be immersed in one of the most spectacular destinations on Earth. It has been 24 years since the inaugural Rugby World Cup took place in New Zealand, and as this research shows the competition and its economic value has come a long way since then."
Rugby World Cup 2011 by Numbers
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MasterCard & Rugby World Cup 2011
MasterCard Worldwide is an Official Worldwide Partner and the official payment system of Rugby World Cup 2011. The company leverages the platform to further deliver shareholder value by creating exclusive business-building opportunities for its customer financial institutions, while building MasterCard brand affinity by offering priceless experiences to MasterCard cardholders. As part of its agreement, MasterCard secures a comprehensive rights and benefits package that allows the company to deliver value to customer financial institutions, merchants and cardholders, including the ability to access "Priceless" experiences linked to Rugby World Cup 2011.
Rugby World Cup is the crown jewel of the sport and a prominent global property—with television coverage of Rugby World Cup 2007 spanning more than 200 territories, reaching a cumulative audience of 4.3 billion viewers. Rugby World Cup 2011 is being held in New Zealand for the first time since the inaugural event in 1987. Teams representing 20 nations will compete in 48 matches across eleven host cities during September and October. The Final is scheduled for Auckland's historic Eden Park on October 23, 2011.
Beyond its expertise in world-class sponsorship marketing, MasterCard also has a rich heritage of supporting the sport of Rugby in the host country. MasterCard has been a sponsor of the New Zealand All Blacks team for more than seven years. MasterCard is also match sponsor to the Barbarian Internationals for 2009-2010.