So The AIG All Blacks are set to play a Test against the USA Eagles in November in Chicago; at a venue approved by AIG.
You know the drill; it is a windfall for the NZRU, you can never have too much in reserve, and you do not know what is around the corner. This latest venue adds to the recent list of matches played by the All Blacks in Hong Kong (and we all pine for the fleeting existence of the DHL Cup) and Tokyo.
The NZRU is a business, so this avarice can be explained, even if dismay and embarrassment over the shunning of the Pacific Islands is well documented.
There will be numerous promotional activities in the week leading up to the match, and hopefully not all of them will be cringe worthy. Keeping your sponsors onside is an important part of running a sporting body is 2014 is important, and there is no doubt you need more than paying Super Rugby spectators to keep things afloat.
That is not the issue; the NZ public actually understands that. What they do not like is the disingenuous spin behind it. Two comments today were particularly insulting.
This will spread the game into the USA
One game, on its own, in the world’s most cluttered sporting market. Waste of time even beginning to counter that one.
And then on Radio Sport, Steve Tew really pulled the leg with the assertion that:
The All Blacks are in a really easy group at the World Cup, which will not prepare them for the latter stages. This match will be a week before playing England so will act as a good preparation for knockout World Cup play.
Or something like that. Someone is on really good money coming up with stuff like that.
Just be honest NZRU. The All Blacks are your biggest marketing tool, they are the current World Cup holders, and Dan Carter is good looking. Market them for all you can, but leave the altruistic excuses out of it. We are not that thick.