Tourism New Zealand’s giant rugby ball, which has been used to promote the tournament in Paris, London and Tokyo, is now on Sydney’s harbour front for the 2011Rugby World Cup.
The Giant Rugby Ball was officially welcomed onto Australian shores with an historic early morning ceremony between the first nation peoples of Australia – the Aboriginals and Māori.
The special occasion, was attended by officials and VIPs from both countries and recognised the two cultures through an Aboriginal welcome to the country and a pōhiri.
The opening of the giant ball coincided with the one-year countdown to the beginning of the tournament on 9 September, the opening of the second phase of ticket sales on 10 September and the Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup clash between Australian and New Zealand on 11 September.
Look out in the next edition of Kōkiri for updates on the Māori and Iwi initiatives for the Rugby World Cup.
Previous appearances for the Giant Rugby Ball
The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France - October 2007: The Giant Rugby Ball was installed in front of the Eiffel Tower in central Paris during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. During the 15 days the Ball was open, an estimated world-wide media audience of over 137 million was exposed to coverage of the Ball; 24,000 people passed through the interior of the Ball.
Potters Field, London, England - November 2008: 7,500 people visited the Ball when it was installed alongside London’s iconic Tower Bridge in November 2008. As well as hosting the Queen, Prince Phillip, the touring All Blacks side and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, the Ball was the venue for the International Rugby Board’s Rugby World Cup 2011 pool draw. Media coverage reached an estimated 200 million people around the world.
The Tokyo Tower, Tokyo, Japan - October 2009: An average of 2,000 people per day visited the Ball during the six days that it was located in downtown Tokyo. Media coverage reached millions and visits to Tourism New Zealand’s Japanese consumer website spiked at nearly 8,000 visits per day.
Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia - September 2010