An opportunity has presented itself for Northland companies after Hansen parted ways with the Northland Rugby Union - leaving the back of the ITM Cup jersey empty.

Northland Rugby Union chief executive officer Jeremy Parkinson was quick to praise Hansen for its support over the past seven years, adding that the split was on good terms.

"They've [Hansen] been one constant at that time," Parkinson noted, referring to a 2007 loss of $350,000 which left Northland in danger of being demoted to the Heartland Championship.

"They've been there for seven years and they wanted to look at other strategies, they're not only a New Zealand company now - they're a multi-national company.


"Their withdrawal creates a great opportunity for a sponsor to take advantage, given the back of jersey is regarded as prime advertising space for the ITM cup."

While nothing was set in stone with regards to which teams would wear new sponsors' logos, Parkinson said it was all up for negotiation.

"It does open up an opportunity for another business to get in behind Northland rugby and around our strategic vision of 'Better Rugby - Better Community'.

"If they want to tie in with what we're doing with going local and providing a pathway and all the good work we've been doing at the union [then that is a positive] - we'd welcome to talk to any company that is willing to get in behind us."

He said a key selling point was that as part of the sponsorship there would be at least 800 minutes of televised rugby in the agreement, with play-off appearances adding to that tally.