AIG Has Deal to Sponsor All Blacks Rugby, Herald Says

AIG Has Deal for New Zealand Rugby Sponsorship, Herald Reports
All Black captain Richie McCaw, right, and American International Group Inc., Executive Vice President Peter Hancock pose with the All Black jersey. Photographer: Phil Walter/Getty Images for NZRU via AIG

American International Group Inc., the insurer that counts the U.S. government as its largest shareholder, reached a five-year deal to sponsor New Zealand’s rugby team, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The All Blacks’ shorts and jersey sleeves could have the logo of New York-based AIG as soon as next month, the Herald reported, citing people it didn’t identify. The newspaper said the deal will be announced later today.

Chief Executive Officer Robert Benmosche is reviving a brand that his predecessor Edward Liddy dismissed as “wounded and disgraced” in 2009 amid a U.S. bailout that swelled in value to $182.3 billion and was repaid last month. Benmosche is scheduled to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange next week as the insurer shows off a redesigned logo. AIG reached a deal for the logo to appear on the USA Rugby team’s jerseys.

“Rugby is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world and in 2016, will be featured in the summer Olympic Games,” Benmosche said in a statement announcing the USA Rugby sponsorship. “We look forward to supporting and encouraging youth involvement and achievement in this dynamic sport.”

Jim Ankner, an AIG spokesman, declined to comment on the Herald’s report. The New Zealand Rugby Union didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

AIG had sponsored Manchester United, the English soccer team that has won 19 national championships. Aon Plc, the world’s largest insurance broker, has its emblem on the jersey after replacing AIG in 2010.

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