Crusaders get a 'permanent' Super licence
NEWS: The Crusaders have become the first franchise to take advantage of New Zealand Rugby’s new ‘perpetuity’ licences.
The new licences have fewer restrictions, opening the door for new investment and commercial opportunities for cash-strapped franchises.
In a statement, the Crusaders revealed that they have secured their future in Super Rugby with confirmation that they have signed a new competition licence with NZ Rugby.
Previously, the licence for the franchise to operate and compete in Super Rugby has been negotiated with NZ Rugby every few years, to coincide with the broadcast cycle.
This has now changed.
“The renegotiation of our licence agreement is a significant step by the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby, in setting our franchise up for long-term success,” Crusaders Chief Executive Oficer Colin Mansbridge said.
“Rugby, like many other businesses, faces ongoing challenges as a result of COVID-19 and the ability for us to better organise ourselves with a more sustainable financial model going forward, and a view to our long-term future, is imperative.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the Crusaders plans, the 2020 Aratipu Review provided a number of key recommendations for the future model of Super Rugby in New Zealand.
It included recommendations aimed at ensuring the financial sustainability of franchises, and driving the commercial growth of the game.
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“Super Rugby Aotearoa is a product we can all be proud of, and we’ll continue to work closely with New Zealand Rugby to help deliver a competition that challenges and inspires our players, and engages new and existing rugby fans around the world,” Mansbridge said.
“At the Crusaders, we are confident in our ability to participate, and thrive, in the global game and this licence agreement allows us greater scope to be open to those opportunities.
“This is a natural progression of our brand and a considerable step towards realising our global ambition.”
The Crusaders have also engaged independent financial advisor, PwC, to undertake a capital review of the franchise.
PwC has led a process with the Crusaders and its shareholders, to evaluate what capital is required to participate in the Super Rugby competition, which is a requirement of the perpetual licence with NZ Rugby.
The review has also considered what additional capital may be required to realise the franchise’s long-term strategic ambitions.
These developments signify an exciting juncture in the franchise’s journey.