New Zealand Rugby (NZR), in a joint venture with brand tourism business Discovery Partners, has unveiled plans for the world’s first All Blacks interactive visitor experience to be created in collaboration with Start. Visitors will be treated to a showcase of activity, getting hands on and up close with the All Blacks team "in a whole new way". The experience, according to NZR chief executive Steve Tew, is set to "immortalise" the world-famous sports team like never before.
Tew told reporters: "We genuinely believe that we can enhance brand New Zealand, brand rugby and brand All Blacks, and we genuinely believe that we can further inspire young New Zealanders - male and female - to want to play our game. With tourism numbers growing rapidly…we're confident of delivering an attraction that will set the standard for visitor and fan experiences in this country."
Discovery Partners said the state-of-the-art project will be a testament to the country and team, as well as a way of sharing their 'love for the game with the world'. They say on their website: "The All Blacks remain one of the most popular teams and powerful brands in sport. To New Zealanders, they are part of the fabric of the nation. [This will be] the only place where the world can visit and learn [their] remarkable story."
Unlike a museum, visitors will become part of the experience. They'll get an insight into the tactics and challenges of the game, the passion and determination that drives the team and the power and meaning of the Haka, according to Dave Judge, Discovery Partners executive creative director. He said: "This will set a new standard for brand tourism, and is one of a kind. It is being designed to focus not only on the sport, but on the history of New Zealand and the deep philosophy that makes this team so strong. This is where tourism meets retail and entertainment, and it's very exciting."
The attraction is due to open in 2017 and will be built on a prime site on Auckland's waterfront. The announcement comes as the world prepares for the Rugby World Cup 2015, being hosted by the UK next month.
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