ASB Bank will gift weeklong naming rights of Eden Park to a Kiwi business for the second Bledisloe Cup test on October 18.
As revealed by Newshub on Monday, Auckland's iconic sporting venue will undergo a name change for the first time in its history - but that name won't become obvious until closer to the All Blacks v Australia showdown.
As part of its efforts to stimulate business during the COVID-19 pandemic, ASB Bank has secured the naming rights for an NZ business to be revealed early next week. The bank already owns rights to the ground's northern stand, as well as several other major venues around the city.
"Like most New Zealand businesses, Eden Park has been challenged to find ways to embrace the new normal to ensure we can continue to operate, innovate and give back to the community," says Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner.
"ASB is a valued and longstanding partner of the park, so creating a unique opportunity together to support a small Kiwi business is a natural fit for us.
"The Eden Park name is a globally renowned sporting icon, which means this opportunity is unlikely to happen ever again. We're excited to reveal details and provide an unforgettable experience for both our patrons and our new naming-rights partner later this month."
Over the past 30 years, the All Blacks have made Eden Park a fortress - they last lost there to France in 1994, while Australia last tasted success there in 1986. During that span, there have been two draws - to South Africa in 1994 and the British & Irish Lions in 2017.
"Supporting SMEs [Small & Medium-sized Businesses] has been a priority for us throughout 2020," says ASB Bank business banking executive general manager Tim Deane.
"They are the backbone of our economy and many are hard hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. We know Eden Park has a special place in the hearts of many Kiwis and it will always be Eden Park, but this will be an incredibly special opportunity for one small business."
The Bledisloe Cup opener is scheduled for Wellington on Sunday.
Join us at 4pm Sunday for live updates of the All Blacks v Australia Bledisloe Cup test.