Mount Smart Stadium now Go Media Stadium


Auckland Stadiums naming rights Image: Mount Smart Stadium, North Island Av, CC BY-SA 4.0

After being without a naming rights sponsor since 2006, the Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, was officially renamed the Go Media Stadium Mt Smart on May 15th.

‘Stuff’ stated that Auckland Stadiums, which is a part of the Council’s Tātaki Auckland Unlimited (economic development agency in Auckland, New Zealand), has signed a commercial naming rights agreement with the outdoor advertising company for 12 months, with a view to making it a multiyear arrangement.

The 30,000-capacity Mount Smart Stadium (commercially known as the Go Media Stadium) is a multipurpose stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. It is the main home ground of the New Zealand Warriors of the National Rugby League, and occasionally hosts rugby union and international rugby league matches. Built within the quarried remnants of the Rarotonga/Mount Smart volcanic cone, it is located 10 kilometers South of the City center, in the suburb of Penrose.

The New Zealand Warriors are a professional rugby league football club based in Auckland, New Zealand that competes in the National Rugby League premiership and is the league’s only team from outside Australia.

The Auckland Stadiums is a division of Auckland Unlimited, a unit of the Auckland Council in New Zealand that manages Auckland’s regional stadiums. Auckland Stadiums manages, operates and promotes the Mount Smart Stadium, the 25,000-capacity QBE Stadium and the 30,000-capacity Western Springs Stadium.

‘Stuff’ further stated that the home of the Warriors and the Moana Pasifika teams has been without a naming rights sponsor since the deal ended with the Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson in 2006 and the Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Stadiums Director James Parkinson said they were keen to get another one on board.

The Moana Pasifika is a rugby union team made up of players from various Pacific Island nations as well as New Zealand or Australian born players of Pasifika heritage, including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga (countries in Oceania), and the Cook Islands (nation in the South Pacific).

Said James Parkinson, Stadium Director, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, “From a venue perspective, a naming rights partner is something we’ve been focused on looking to achieve and something we’ve been deliberate in the way we’ve gone about it. We have been focused on a partner that can drive some real value and when we first approached Go Media it was from a perspective of looking for their assistance to help find a partner.”

As part of the arrangement, Go Media hopes to help bring more sporting events to the stadium through their connections, including extra National Rugby League (NRL) games.

Sydney (Australia)-based the National Rugby League (NRL) is an Australasian rugby league club competition which contains clubs from New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, and New Zealand.

Stated Mike Gray, Go Media Managing Director, “We’ve got a commercial relationship with Auckland Stadiums. As a company we sponsor lots of sport and we have a relationship with the tenants of the stadium, so Moana Pasifika, we’re a sponsor of the Warriors Community Trust and New Zealand Football, who recently played China there. So they asked us to help find them a naming rights sponsor, because we deal with the media agencies that have all the big brands. In trying to understand what was available, I started thinking this would interest me, because for us it’s a natural progression. As a brand, it’s quite hard to get a naming rights partner that doesn’t create conflict. It could create conflict, with New Zealand Rugby (the New Zealand national rugby union team), World Rugby or the Warriors’ sponsors. But we’re very neutral and that became one of the strong benefits.”

Go Media is Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading out of home advertising company and has the country’s largest digital billboard network.

The Auckland Stadiums run three venues in the region – the Mt Smart Stadium, the 25,000-capacity North Harbour Stadium and the Western Springs. As well these facilities allowing those in the region and country to watch top sporting and entertaining events, they also provide the Auckland Council with revenue and having a naming rights sponsor helps with that income.

Added Parkinson, “It’s fair to say COVID was a bit of a disruptor with those pursuits. Now we’re getting back into event activity, we’ve refocused around our desire to secure a naming rights partner. For us, it is part of a broader strategy to diversify our revenue streams. The event sector has a degree of risk and the revenue streams bounce around when you just rely on securing event activity from one year to the next. So we’ve got a deliberate strategy of diversifying and securing a range of revenue streams and a naming rights partner was a logical component of that. To get the full value of that, it was looking to partner with someone in the truest sense, so we are looking to collectively grow the portfolio at the stadium for mutual benefit and that’s where the Go Media is a natural partner because they are committed to the sports sector in New Zealand.”

Dublin (Ireland)-based the World Rugby is the world governing body for the sport of rugby union. The World Rugby organizes the Rugby World Cup every four years, the sport’s most recognized and most profitable competition.

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