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Tri Nations to Contribute Over US$174m to Southern Hemisphere Economy

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The 2010 Tri Nations will contribute US$174.3 million to the sport and leisure economy across the Southern Hemisphere, according to a new study commissioned by MasterCard.

The report also forecasts a significant positive economic impact from the addition of Argentina to the competition in 2012, which is predicted to increase the overall value of the tournament to as much as $213.1million.

This means that in the year before Rugby World Cup 2011, the combined value of the two largest annual international Rugby tournaments – the 2010 Six Nations and Tri Nations Championships – is more than $800 million, according to MasterCard’s research into Rugby commerce.

MasterCard commissioned one of the leading international sport business institutions, the Centre for the International Business of Sport (CIBS), to examine the economic impact of the 2010 Tri Nations Championship and associated demographic trends. This is the second release of a larger study which analyses economic impact and social trends of the sport around the world.

In March this year, MasterCard released a similar report on the 2010 RBS Six Nations Championship which put its worth at $632.81m to participating Rugby nations.

MasterCard’s study on the Tri Nations Championship highlights a commercially strong picture for Southern Hemisphere Rugby. It points to substantial levels of local economic impact for cities across the Southern Hemisphere from hosting Tri Nations matches.

Sydney is set to scoop $28 million from hosting Australia v New Zealand: the largest single economic impact from a Tri Nations fixture. Johannesburg and Christchurch are also set to benefit a total of $19.6 million and $12 million respectively from hosting two of the matches.

The study also predicts that the arrival of Argentina – where Rugby is growing faster than in any of the Tri Nations countries – to the tournament in 2012 will help further bolster the long term value of the competition. The Argentinean economy is set to be boosted by a local economic impact of $8-12 million for each match hosted in the country.

Dr. Anna Semens, Research Fellow at CIBS and MasterCard’s advisor on the Business of Rugby, said, “The MasterCard study highlights that rugby is clearly booming and providing a considerable economic boost to the Southern Hemisphere. The value of the Tri Nations continues to rise, with the 2010 tournament well on track with some impressive attendances. These indicators, as well as Argentina’s entry into the tournament from 2012, demonstrate that the Tri Nations will continue to provide a sizeable economic impact into the future.”

Value of the Tri Nations

The 2010 Tri Nations Championship will make a contribution of $174.3 million to the sport and leisure economy across the Southern Hemisphere. Locally, the 2010 Tri Nations Championship generated local economic impacts of:

$8 million on Auckland economy from hosting New Zealand v South Africa
$11 million on Wellington economy from hosting New Zealand v South Africa
$14 million on Brisbane economy from hosting Australia v South Africa
$16 million on Melbourne economy from hosting Australia v New Zealand
$12 million on Christchurch economy from hosting New Zealand v Australia
$19.6 million on Johannesburg economy from hosting South Africa v New Zealand
$9.2 million on Pretoria economy from hosting South Africa v Australia
$8.6 million on Bloemfontein economy from hosting South Africa v Australia
$28 million on Sydney economy from hosting Australia v New Zealand (estimated)

The expected impact of Argentina joining the Tri Nations in 2012 is:

$8-12 million local economic impact per match hosted in Argentina.

The overall value of the Championship could be as much as $213.1 million, in terms of its contribution to the sport and leisure micro economy in 2012.

Attendance and Broadcasting Provide Boost

The unprecedented value of the 2010 Tri Nations has been boosted through several factors, particularly attendances and broadcasting.

Attendance has risen significantly from 2009, with an increased attendance of approximately 50,000 resulting in a total attendance of nearly half a million (450,000) expected for this year’s competition, giving an average attendance slightly above that of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The South Africa v New Zealand Tri Nations match in August 2010 saw the highest attendance for a rugby match in South Africa for more than half a century. The fixture attracted a sell-out audience of 94,013 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, an increase of 30,000 from the planned venue of Ellis Park.

A further boost to the economic impact of the Tri Nations is provided by the recently negotiated 2011-2015 broadcast agreement which will generate $437 million in revenue for the three Tri Nations unions over the next five years.

Stuart Cameron, vice president, Regional Sponsorships, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “The continued growth of Rugby in the region, and its positive impact on business and local communities, is particularly exciting given that Rugby World Cup is coming to New Zealand in 2011. This Tri Nations report, along with our previous study of Northern Hemisphere Rugby, paints a glowing picture of the sport and its influence around the world.”

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