NRL season to launch in New Zealand
The NRL season launch will be held in New Zealand for the first time in the game’s history in 2015.
Head of Commercial, Paul Kind said the launch would take place in Auckland on January 29 in the lead up to the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines which begin two days later.
He said this would be the only venue where all 16 NRL clubs came together at the same time during the 2015 season.
It was also an opportunity to pay tribute to the Warriors, who are celebrating 20 years in the NRL, and the Kiwi team that won the Four Nations tournament.
Mr Kind said the launch would enable fans to recognise the diversity of the NRL season – from the Nines right through to the Telstra Premiership Grand Final.
A special fan day will also be held in Auckland in conjunction with the season launch to give supporters the chance to meet their heroes from all 16 teams.
"The NRL season has so many different competitions and events and they should all be recognised as part of the launch," Mr Kind said.
"The Nines, All Stars, World Club Series, State of Origin and the Telstra Premiership are all key features of the rugby league calendar.
"And then we have the representative matches including Country Origin v City Origin and the Test against New Zealand.
"So there will be something for everyone in 2015 and we want to promote the full rugby league calendar in the 2015 launch.
"It is also fitting that New Zealand, which plays such an important role in our club and international schedule has the opportunity to host the season launch."
He said fans and members would continue to play a key role in the launch and season activities in 2015.
The dedicated fan day, on January 30, will be held in Aotea Square in Auckland.
Representatives from all 16 teams will be on hand to greet supporters before the kick off for the Nines.
Mr Kind said clubs attracted more than 250,000 members for the first time in 2014 – and the aim was to beat that record in 2015.
"The more we can engage with the fans at events such as the launch and encourage people to become members, the more secure our clubs will be in the future," he said.
"Some of the clubs have already reported a surge in memberships since the Grand Final and our aim is to keep that trend going right up to the Telstra Premiership kick off on March 5 and beyond."