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State of the Unions

Deloitte Sports Review


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State of the unionsWelcome to a Deloitte Sports Review of the 14 semi-professional and amateur rugby unions competing in New Zealand’s premier provincial rugby competition, the ITM Cup.

Through a financial review of each union’s annual financial accounts, our findings show that collectively revenues are falling and accumulated reserves are being eroded. This, combined with the well documented difficulties of several unions, highlights the increasing pressures placed on those charged with the operational and financial stewardship of the game. There are signs the unions are responding, but there is still some way to go.

In the past, large corporate sponsorships and other grants have filtered into the grass roots game. Today, the availability of these funds in a commercial environment still recovering from the global financial crisis has diminished.

So now, more than ever, community participation and support is crucial to the on-going success of the country’s provincial unions, and its favourite team and 2011 Rugby World Cup champions, the All Blacks.

This review identifies that the country’s 14 leading rugby unions, excluding the professional rugby franchises competing in Super Rugby, generated revenues in the 2011 financial year in the vicinity of $68 million, a drop of around 11% from the $77 million collectively earned in both the 2009 and 2010 financial years and a fall of 19% from $84 million earned five years ago.

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