While the whole world focuses on the UK and RWC 2015, the world’s number one rugby league team – the NZ Kiwis – is also preparing to take England by storm, with a four-game tour of England to follow the World Cup final.
Off the back of a hugely successful Four Nations tournament last year and an Anzac Test victory in May, coach Stephen Kearney is gathering a squad to take into England’s rugby league heartland – Leeds, Hull and Wigan, enhanced with a landmark game at London’s Olympic Stadium.
The Rugby League World Cup 2013 generated more than 4.5 million viewers in the UK alone, and the recent Anzac Test generated almost half a million viewers in NZ and several million viewers in Australia.
Marquee partner of the NZ Kiwis, Pirtek recently re-signed for another three years and has launched a brand campaign to leverage its involvement, masterminded by the team at Rainger & Rolfe and led by New Zealand Rugby League marketing and sponsorship manager Philippa Ivory.
The campaign comprises outdoor, press and digital executions, aligning the values of the two organisations and featuring Kiwis captain Simon Mannering as its spokesman.
Pirtek New Zealand General Manager Chris Bourke says of the partnership: “Since becoming principal sponsors of the NZ Kiwis and New Zealand Rugby League, we have taken great pleasure in seeing them become leaders on the field.
“We have huge respect for their approach and share many of the same core values. Their commitment to delivering on these values – integrity, respect, leadership, courage and passion – is very important to us.
“As a business, we take great pride in striving to be leaders in our field, and this partnership offers Pirtek, our franchisee network and our customers a range of opportunities to do so.”
NZRL commercial general manager Sarah Lewis is currently exploring relationships with additional partners to take the Kiwis through until the 2017 Rugby League World co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.