Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Environment groups object to New Zealand Rugby’s oil company sponsorship deal

Environment groups object to New Zealand Rugby’s oil company sponsorship deal
June 15, 2021

Environmental groups including Greenpeace are looking to tackle New Zealand Rugby over the sporting body’s reported intention to sign up INEOS, a petroleum giant and, according to Greenpeace, "merchant of plastic pollution", as a sponsor for the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Maori and other national rugby sides.

The global environmental group has launched a petition calling on NZ Rugby to end its planned sponsorship deal with the petrochemical giant.

Greenpeace senior campaigner, Steve Abel stated “it’s appalling that in the thick of the climate crisis, our treasured national rugby teams could be branded with the logo of a company responsible for choking our oceans with plastic pollution and driving climate disasters.”

UK-based INEOS, which is majority owned by Monaco-based British billionaire James Ratcliffe, is an oil, gas and petrochemicals conglomerate, headquartered in London.

It is one of the world’s largest petrochemicals companies, one of only 20 responsible for half of single-use plastic items thrown away globally - and a significant player in the oil and gas sector.

Abel adds “as the world turns against the corporations driving climate catastrophe, NZ Rugby must not sell our soul to an English oil corporate which is cynically wanting to greenwash it’s image by associating with the All Blacks and our country's environmental reputation.

"This is exactly the sort of social license that oil and plastic polluters need to keep operating - we should never be sucked in to selling them our good name.

"This is reminiscent of the dark days of the 1981 SpringBok tour, when NZ rugby put our national team on the wrong side of history as the world was standing against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

"Climate change is the existential threat of this generation. NZ Rugby must not put the All Blacks on the wrong side of history again.

"The sponsorship deal also goes against one of the most important stands New Zealand has taken against climate change by being one of the first countries to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration."

With existing sponsor adidas and the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association (NZRPA) required to approve the sponsorship, Greenpeace is calling on players to use their power to halt the deal.

Abel concluded “we hope that the New Zealand public and All Blacks and rugby players both present and past will stand and tell NZ Rugby no, you must not stain the silver fern in oil.”

Related Articles

7th June 2021 - Fiji Rugby partners with Nike as official team and training kit supplier

1st June 2021 - New Zealand Rugby appoints new Chair and Deputy

25th May 2021 - Majority of players and public want the All Blacks to be New Zealand-owned

29th April 2021 - COVID impact sees Rugby Australia reveal $27.1 million loss for 2020

29th April 2021 - New Zealand Rugby approves investment by US private equity firm Silver Lake

16th April 2021 - Super Rugby announces granting of conditional licences for Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua

10th March 2021 - World Rugby confirms postponement of this year’s women’s World Cup to 2022

29th January 2021 - Organisers aim for New Zealand’s women’s Rugby World Cup to set match attendance records

26th January 2021 - New Zealand’s New Year Honours List recognises achievements in conservation and rugby

13th November 2020 - Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby announce domestic and trans-Tasman tournaments for 2021

9th November 2020 - Report shows global rise in rugby interest through 2019

16th October 2020 - South Africa withdraws from Rugby Championship citing Coronavirus travel restrictions and player safety concerns

12th September 2020 - New Zealand to host two Bledisloe Cup Tests ahead of Australian-based Rugby Championship

20th August 2020 - New Zealand Rugby looks to stage full series of Tests in coming months

4th February 2020 - AIG to end All Blacks sponsorship deal

5th February 2020 - adidas creates sustainable sporting field using 1.8 million plastic bottles

8th November 2014 - adidas reveals ‘blackest’ ever All Blacks jersey

25th August 2011 - adidas apologises over All Blacks jersey pricing

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology


XBODY Australia Pty Ltd

PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology


Spill Station Australia

Compliant chemical storage and decanting solutions. Includes spill kits, spill containment pallets, chemical decanting decks and safety shower and eyewash equipment. See our full range of solutions

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Security / Venues



revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business