NZ to bombard Aussies in RWC promo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ to bombard Aussies in RWC promo

Tamara McLean, AAP New Zealand Correspondent 10/08/2011 09:52:09 AM Comments (0)

The New Zealand government is poised to launch a ticket-selling offensive in Australia to boost sluggish Rugby World Cup ticket sales a month out from kick-off.

World Cup organisers say they have been pleased with the 1.08 million tickets sold to date but will be looking to Australia, where sales have been "soft", to reach the ultimate target of 1.3 million.

"The government is very comfortable with progress to date, but we've still got some work to do, particularly in Australia," the country's Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully said.

He and Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden were planning to do "promotional work" over coming weeks to blitz Australia and lift sales by 230,000.

Mr Snedden agreed there was potential in the Australian market "that we need to chase hard".

"We still see Australia as being our best bet offshore and there will be a continuing effort going into that market to try and persuade more people resident in Australia to come over," he said.

The government has been talking up the benefits of an Australia-New Zealand final that would both showcase the trans-Tasman rivalry and see hundreds more Australians flying over the ditch.

Mr Snedden said he too could not help but endorse a trans-Tasman battle on October 23.

I have no doubt that a New Zealand-Australia final would be something that would create a fantastic amount of anticipation and fun, and ultimately some heartbreak for one or other of us," he said.

Organisers announced on Tuesday ticket sales had reached 87 per cent of target levels, boosted by a $NZ1 million ($A810,000) rush since Saturday's Bledisloe Cup win at Eden Park.

If sales targets are met, total revenue will be $NZ268 million, leaving the country with a $NZ39 million loss, to be paid in part by the government.

About 95,000 punters are expected to visit for the competition.

Currently, more than 30,000 fans are expected from Australia, 25,000 fans from the UK and Ireland, 10,000 from France and a surprising 10,000 from the Americas.

Mr Snedden reiterated tickets would not be discounted, saying: "People have put faith in us already and purchased tickets at face values, so I think we should stick with that."

The post-Bledisloe Cup rush indicates New Zealanders are building faith that their side can win the World Cup after more than two decades of disappointment.

The All Blacks, consistently ranked the best team in the world, haven't won the competition since co-hosting the inaugural edition with Australia in 1987.

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