The energy was palpable in Chicago during a historic weekend in early November as the city hosted a victory parade to celebrate the Cubs winning the World Series after 108 years, as well as two rugby matches as part of AIG’s Rugby Weekend.
The Maori All Blacks defeated the USA Eagles 54-7 on Friday, November 4, in front of a sold-out crowd at Toyota Park stadium. The following day, history was made … twice … at Soldier Field as 62,300 spectators set a new attendance record for rugby in North America, and Ireland defeated the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years, with a final score of 40-29.
“The significance of providing our clients with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity cannot be measured,” said Hilary Browne, Head of AIG Liabilities & Financial Lines, South Europe.
AIG’s activities throughout the weekend demonstrated the company’s commitment to clients, colleagues, and the sport of rugby.
- At the VIP tent, AIG leaders and colleagues, including AIG President and CEO Peter Hancock and members of the Executive Leadership Team and Board, had the opportunity to spend time with and hear from clients, brokers, and other partners.
- In AIG’s Chicago office, employees interacted with players from the Maori All Blacks and USA Eagles at an exclusive meet-and-greet session.
- On Michigan Avenue, tens of thousands of Chicagoans felt the thrill of being on the field with the All Blacks and participating in their legendary haka through a virtual reality experience.
“We are excited to continue AIG's brand partnership with NZR,” said AIG President and CEO Peter Hancock in an announcement. “Our sponsorship will continue to serve as an inspiration for excellence to AIG people.”
Since 2012, AIG has worked with New Zealand Rugby's teams in 64 countries, sharing core brand values and extending rugby's reach to millions. AIG has elevated awareness of brand and business through staging world-class events in Beijing, Chicago, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, and Toronto. In that time, rugby has become the fastest growing team sport in the U.S., with over 50 percent more players involved with the sport.
Since partnering with New Zealand Rugby in 2012, the teams AIG supports have achieved unprecedented success on the field:
- The All Blacks have secured back-to-back Rugby World Cups and broken the record for most consecutive test match victories (18)
- The All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens have won an incredible 21 World Series events between them, with the Black Ferns Sevens also claiming silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics
- The New Zealand U20 team were crowned World Champions in 2015
- The Maori All Blacks have embarked on five successful tours in Asia, North America, Europe, and Oceania
- The Black Ferns continued to dominate international women’s rugby, featured as the number one ranked team in the world