Nicholas Jones

Nicholas Jones is the New Zealand Herald’s education reporter.

ANZ trumps rival with medal ceremony sponsorship

ANZ's logo is prominent as Valerie Adams receives her medal. Photo / Greg Bowker
ANZ's logo is prominent as Valerie Adams receives her medal. Photo / Greg Bowker

ANZ's saturation sponsorship of Valerie Adams' gold medal ceremony will be salt in the wounds of a rival bank and fellow Olympic sponsor, a marketing expert says.

Wednesday's ceremony at the Cloud was paid for by ANZ, which was the official insurance provider for the New Zealand Olympic team.

John Guthrie, senior lecturer in marketing at Otago University, said the high-profile event would be galling for ASB - which paid top dollar to be the Olympic team's "official bank".

"What is a brand? You'd have to think that with ANZ, do we know that as an insurance provider? I don't think so.

"I don't know the level of contribution that these banks make, but it looked to me like it was flying under the radar."

Yesterday an ASB spokesman would not be drawn on ANZ's sponsorship of the ceremony or Olympic team.

But after the Games, ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman said the NZ Olympic Committee should not have allowed ANZ to be a sponsor.

She told interest.co.nz that ASB's deal as the NZOC's "official and exclusive bank" - which ended after the Olympics - had been in place since July 2010.

Ms Chapman said she did not blame ANZ for the situation, nor would she define it as an "ambush" on its part.

ASB only learned of its rival's involvement in May when ANZ threw a party and fireworks display in downtown Auckland to celebrate its deal.

ANZ has since aggressively marketed its association with the Olympic team, culminating in Wednesday night's medal ceremony.

The bank's involvement was frequently mentioned in speeches, with the Cloud turning an ANZ-hued blue.

Yesterday NZOC secretary-general Kereyn Smith said ANZ were partners for the next three years, but ASB's sponsorship was also highly valued.

ANZ's sponsorship of Wednesday's ceremony was deemed over the top by many commentators.

Peter Parussini, ANZ New Zealand's head of corporate affairs, said the response to the ceremony had been overwhelmingly positive.

- NZ Herald

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