The All Blacks have lost their main sponsor, the American insurance giant AIG, following their disappointing performance in the World Cup last year, the team announced Tuesday.
Mark Robinson, CEO of New Zealand Rugby (NZR), said that AIG has communicated in advance that the multimillion dollar deal, which has been in effect since 2012, would end next year.
“Long business partnerships like this are unusual and the delivery time provided means NZR is best placed to attract new sponsors,” said Robinson.
In a short AIG statement, global sponsorship manager Daniel Glantz provided no reason to end the deal.
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But he thanked New Zealand rugby and the players who “have consistently shown a commitment to excellence on and off the pitch, which has improved both of our brands and inspired rugby fans around the world.”
The announcement comes just three months after the All Blacks failed their bid for an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup and fell from the top of the world rankings for the first time in 10 years.
The sponsorship of the AIG concerned not only the women’s All Blacks and Black Ferns, but also the national teams of seven men and women, the Maori All Blacks and New Zealand under 20.
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During the years of partnership with AIG, the All Blacks won the 2015 World Cup and the 2017 Women’s World Cup, while the seven-man and female teams both won gold at the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup in Sevens in 2018.
Last October, environmental activists handed NZR a petition of 35,000 signatures to urge her to abandon her association with AIG after it was revealed that the company was securing the controversial Adani Carmichael coal mine in Australia.