South African Rugby Legend Puts Auckland Grammar Students Through their Paces
MasterCard gives members of Auckland Grammar School's Junior Premier Rugby Teams a Priceless RWC 2011 Experience
Auckland, 30 September 2011 - Members of Auckland Grammar School's Junior Premier Rugby Teams were put through their paces by South African Rugby legend and RWC 2011 MasterCard Ambassador Bobby Skinstad yesterday, before gaining exclusive access to the South African Captain's Run at North Harbour Stadium.
Eighteen students enjoyed a Coaching Clinic with the former South African Rugby Captain, gaining tips and asking Skinstad about the preparations that go into training for a Rugby World Cup.
Skinstad then hosted the students at the South African Captain's Run, the final training session ahead of the team’s RWC 2011 match against Samoa, before leading them on a VIP Tour of North Harbour Stadium.
Both experiences, part of MasterCard's Worldwide Partnership with RWC 2011, were intended to provide the students with unforgettable Rugby memories. MasterCard's Vice President, Regional Marketing, Stuart Cameron, said that these are just a couple of the ways MasterCard is connecting New Zealand's future Rugby stars with their sporting heroes.
"Throughout RWC 2011, MasterCard has been bringing fans and Rugby enthusiasts closer to the game they love through a range of priceless experiences. The Coaching Clinic and South African Captain's Run is another great example of the opportunities that this Tournament is providing for grassroots teams to benefit from the knowledge and experience of some of the world's best players," Mr Cameron said.
MasterCard Rugby Ambassador Bobby Skinstad says, "I am blown away by some of the Rugby talent that I have seen. Being a MasterCard Rugby Ambassador and connecting with teams at this level is great fun and the enthusiasm and commitment that these guys have for the game is admirable."
Captain of Auckland Grammar School's U15A Team, Robert Harris, said: "Having the opportunity to train with Bobby Skinstad, one of the great South African Rugby players, and watch the South African team as they prepare for a Rugby World Cup match has been truly unforgettable".
"I know that we will benefit hugely from what they have learnt through this experience and the knowledge and advice passed on by a true Rugby great," he added. The afternoon was capped off when the South African Rugby Union gifted the Auckland Grammar students with 20 tickets to sold out match between South Africa and Samoa at North Harbour Stadium this evening.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities - such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances - easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at www.mastercard.com, follow us on Twitter @mastercardnews or join the conversation on The Heart of Commerce Blog.
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 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 New Zealand. MasterCard has been a sponsor of the All Blacks for more than seven years. MasterCard is also match sponsor to the Barbarian Internationals for 2009-2010.