RWC 2011 fans warned not to be let down
With the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2011 well and truly underway and the global public phase of ticket sales set to begin on April 27, Tournament owner Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) has launched a worldwide programme to help inform and protect the global Rugby Community from being let down if they purchase tickets, hospitality or merchandise from unofficial sources.
At the core of the programme is a dedicated television commercial that will be screened via Rugby World Cup 2011 licensed broadcasters as part of a wider integrated awareness campaign that will include social media, Internet and traditional media platforms.
The 30-second infomercial, launched via YouTube (www.youtube.com/rugbyworldcup) today, features a range of scenarios where fans have been let down by purchasing via unofficial outlets, including being turned away from matches or in possession of notoriously lower quality counterfeit product.
"Rugby World Cup is the world's third-largest sporting event and will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2011. We are anticipating that over 70,000 members of the global Rugby Community will travel to New Zealand to enjoy what promises to be a very special Tournament, superb facilities and a wonderful programme of festival activities," said RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset. "These unofficial sources aim to exploit consumers and supporters. They also take money straight out of the Game, which would otherwise be reinvested by the IRB in the global growth of our sport.
"It is our priority to ensure that their experience is memorable for all the right reasons and therefore it is important that all fans intending to attend the Tournament are informed that they face a major disappointment unless they purchase their tickets, hospitality and merchandise from official outlets."
Another key element of the public awareness campaign is a user friendly guide to the practical application of the Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEMA) in New Zealand, with real life examples of do's and don'ts.
This key educational document has been specially developed with the consumer in mind by RWCL in conjunction with New Zealand's Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and is available to view at www.rugbyworldcup.com and www.med.govt.nz.
As Rugby World Cup 2011 is a major event under the MEMA, it is prohibited to suggest that an association exists between Rugby World Cup 2011 and goods or services, a brand, or a person unless one of the exceptions in the MEMA applies. An unauthorised association in breach of the MEMA is presumed where certain declared major event emblems or words (such as the words 'Rugby World Cup') are used.
The first prosecution under the MEMA was announced earlier today in a joint press release with the MED and the New Zealand Customs Service.
"It is fantastic for us as owners of Rugby World Cup 2011 to work together with MED and Customs to protect the genuine Rugby supporter and ultimately the event. This prosecution combined with the television commercial and guide to the Major Events Management Act will hopefully continue to raise the public awareness of the dangers of buying unofficial Rugby World Cup 2011 tickets, merchandise and hospitality, " said Mike Miller, RWCL Managing Director.
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