The last time the Lions visited New Zealand, the New Zealand economy benefitted to the tune of $24 million dollars in cash.
It is best known for Dan Carter’s coming-of-age party and Brian O’Driscoll’s controversial shoulder injury, however, it’s arguable the most dramatic thing the tour produced was the boost to New Zealand Rugby’s bank balance.
It’s no wonder the 2017 Lions tour has been prioritized by New Zealand Rugby of, well, everything. It’s not every year – or even every decade – that rugby’s variation of Santa Claus drops by with a swag bag of money that raise its asset base by over 20 per cent and will more than treble the governing body’s income virtually overnight.
That’s precisely what occurred in 2005.
Of the 360,000 available tickets for the 11 matches, 355,000 were with, sold a good ball maintained by 29,000 tourists
Amounts from New Zealand Rugby’s 2005 yearly report reveal those visitors created estimated foreign exchange gains for the state of a complete economic gain of $250M., as well as $120M While the methodology used in economical impact reporting, may be malleable, the $20.4m banked by the NZRU is a rock solid amount.
The effect on the organisation’s balance sheet was spectacular.
In the last financial year, when the All Blacks played in the Tri Nations, sponsored two June evaluations against England and one against Argentina before undertaking a four-match Northern Hemisphere tour, sales from fixtures and tours was $9.24m, and entire income from all sources $104.904m.
In 2005, sales from fixtures and tours increased to $33.904m (an increase of $24.649m) and overall income was up almost $42m to $146.675m.
The worth of assets held by NZR rose from $84.458M to $108.839M – the increase nearly entirely made up of the close 25 million additional dollars banked thanks to the Lions Tour (NZR’s financial reports reveal $34.181M cash in the bank – upwards from $9.028M).
“It was a year to treasure,” then NZRU chairman the late Jock Hobbs in a press release accompanying the 2005 annual report. “A year which proved that, by working closely and cohesively, New Zealand rugby is capable of making – and keeping – big promises.”
And cashing in when the opportunity presents itself.
With the storm clouds of the GFC party, the cash would be required. New Zealand Rugby’s fiscal prognosis was less rosy a year after. Another $19m was due to exchange rate changes and $10m as a result of rear-stopped broadcasting deal coming to a close.
The 2006 fiscal result emphasizes the undeniable fact that, with about two thirds of our sales produced in foreign currency, we’re extremely exposed to exchange rate movements subsequently chief executive Chris Moller noted.
By 2008, another vital pressure was coming to bear. Viewer interest in the game – especially the once powerful NPC – had started to wane, and All Blacks test matches were selling out.
ust address this problem. We have to likewise do this in the circumstance of the very serious economic decline since the Great Depression.”
The windfall helped insulate the game fiscally at a time that was difficult, but the cash wouldn’t continue eternally. Sales needed to improve. With income from program rights and leading sponsorship contracts there was just one clear option – to play more matches.
Added matches – such as the now semi-regular visit to Chicago have become an accepted portion of the All Blacks program. The returns soft in comparison to the goldrush of a Lions tour while they may be money-making.
It remains to be seen whether the 2017 tour will deliver returns that are similar as 2005
Our calculations – based on earth capacities printed on the official Lions site indicate the absolute amount of tickets available will be similar to 2005 – about 357,548 (compared to 360,000).
While the 2017 tour will consist of one less match (10 instead of 11), New Zealand’s biggest arena, Eden Park, will host two of the three test matches. In a switch from the standard tour construction, the Lions will play warm up and midweek matches mainly against the Super Rugby franchises at leading arenas that are urban rather than visit states including Manawatu, Taranaki and Southland, as they did in 2005. The upshot is the fact that the absolute variety of tickets that are available stays similar to that of the 2005 tour.
Twelve years on from the last Lions tour, New Zealand Rugby is in a financial position that is similar. In 2005, that amount was $108.839m which, corrected for inflation, is $137.5m. In actual terms its asset base has raised by only 11 per cent over 12 years.
2005 Lions Tour