Australian supporters in fine voice.
Australian supporters in fine voice.

Rugby's pot of gold

KNOCKABOUT Northern Star sports columnist and Southern Cross University lecturer, Dave Arthur, will find himself in the hot seat in Auckland today as he fronts the international media.

Dr Arthur began the day on New Zealand breakfast television spruiking the fourth instalment of a report he is co-authoring that will analyse the economic benefits of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) to hosting economies.

"The report also examines the longer term economic impact on New Zealand's economy and the legacy of the tournament as a whole,' said Dr Arthur.

"We've analysed the sporting impact of RWC 2011 by looking at what international fans are spending in New Zealand's bars, clubs, shops, hotels and inside host stadia, along with spending by sponsors and organisations on marketing in the cities around matches."

Dr Arthur is part of an international briefing panel launching a global study at 4pm today at Auckland's iconic Rugby World Cup venue, The Cloud.

Titled, The Economic Impact Report on Global Rugby Part IV: Rugby World Cup 2011, the report is the fourth in a series commissioned by Mastercard Worldwide that follows economic impact reports on the 2010 Six Nations and Tri Nations Rugby tournaments, and an April 2011 report on rugby's emerging markets.

The Southern Cross University lecturer is also a researcher at the Centre for the International Business of Sport and has co-written a number of books and reports on various aspects of sport business with a particular focus on rugby union and rugby league.

He has also twice toured Europe with the combined Pacific Islands rugby union team as member of its management.

"The hosting of global events can be profound and far-reaching if leveraged correctly," he said.

The report also considers the economic impact of late match scheduling on New Zealand cities and international Rugby World Cup audiences; the effect of the Christchurch earthquake; and the returning of the code to its spiritual home - where the first world cup final was played 24 years ago.

"These distinct elements certainly set Rugby World Cup 2011 apart from its predecessors," he said. Following the launch, a panel including IRB CEO, Mike Miller; Rugby New Zealand CEO, Martin Snedden; New Zealand's Rugby World Cup Minister, Murray McCully, and MasterCard marketing vice president, Stuart Cameron will discuss the findings.