ASB Bank has acquired naming rights to Auckland’s Eden Park stadium – but the agreement will only run for one week and the company will give the rights to a local business.

Eden Park said the agreement, which has been signed as the stadium prepares to host the Bledisloe Cup match between New Zealand and Australia on October 18, marks a world first.

Eden Park opened in 1903 and has never had a naming-rights sponsor. The stadium will break with tradition following the agreement with ASB Bank, with the new name of the venue to be revealed next week and be in place for the Bledisloe Cup match.

Nick Sautner, chief executive of the stadium, said the innovative sponsorship deal provides Eden Park with an opportunity to highlight its commitment to the community by showcasing a local business during what is a difficult time for the economy.

“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,” said 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.”

ASB is an existing sponsor of Eden Park and holds naming rights to the venue’s northern stand.

Tim Deane, ASB’s executive general manager of business banking, added: “Supporting SMEs has been a priority for us throughout 2020. 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, and we couldn’t be prouder to be able to use ASB’s naming rights in this way.

“We’re thrilled Eden Park has helped bring this opportunity to life and we look forward to announcing the lucky Kiwi business with naming rights to one of the world’s truly iconic stadiums for the trans-Tasman rugby encounter on Sunday, October 18.”

It was also confirmed yesterday (Monday) that fans would be able to return to Eden Park for the match against Australia after Auckland moved to Alert Level 1.

Restrictions had been imposed in Auckland in August following a COVID-19 outbreak, with Otago Regional Stadium in Dunedin having been placed on standby in case Eden Park could not host. The first Bledisloe Cup match will be held on Sunday at Wellington Regional Stadium.

Image: Eden Park