Stadium branding forbidden for World Cup

Stadium sponsor Forsyth Barr may be barred from any advertising at the Dunedin facility - including naming rights - during the Rugby World Cup, because of rules demanding advertising-free stadiums.

Instead, the stadium is expected to be named the Otago Stadium for the 2011 event.

Both the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and Forsyth Barr chairman Eion Edgar yesterday said the issue was clear to the company when it entered the sponsorship contract, but Mr Edgar said from Hong Kong last night he still hoped for some profile for the company from the event.

The issue was raised during a Dunedin City Council finance and strategy committee meeting that discussed the trust's latest report on the stadium.

Cr Kate Wilson asked about Forsyth Barr Stadium advertising seen at other grounds in New Zealand during rugby matches recently, and was told Forsyth Barr had been using the stadium brand in its advertising.

Trust commercial manager Guy Hedderwick told her there would be no such advertising during the Rugby World Cup because of a policy of "clean" stadiums during the event, although the trust hoped to be able to keep the stadium's logo.

New Zealand lost its sub-host role for the 2003 world cup in part because it could not provide stadiums that met the Rugby World Cup Ltd's strict definition of "clean" stadiums.

Mr Hedderwick said after the meeting the policy meant the stadium could not even have the Forsyth Barr name on the front.

"They [Forsyth Barr] knew that up front.

"It was part of our discussions."

Mr Edgar, also a Carisbrook Stadium Trust trustee, last night said the company "knew from day one" the rule could be an issue, but Forsyth Barr would not be the sort of company competing with any of the cup's sponsors.

"I expect there will be some profile, but I accept the clean stadia requirement."

He understood the rule was more to do with the inside rather than the outside of stadiums, and expected the Forsyth Barr name would be common usage by 2011.

"It has to have some name on it.

"We'll discuss it with the Rugby World Cup people at the time."

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