The New Zealand Breakers, the country’s top professional basketball team, are set to embark on a new chapter as the BNZ Breakers, thanks to a new naming rights partnership with the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). The naming rights partnership was announced in Auckland this morning.
In addition, BNZ is joining forces with Kiwi Hoops, Basketball New Zealand’s junior basketball programme, to help grow the sport at the grass roots level and foster the next generation of talent. These partnerships come hot on the heels of the bank’s naming rights sponsorship of the BNZ Northern Kāhu women’s basketball team, confirmed last month.
BNZ CEO Dan Huggins says the bank is thrilled to back the Breakers and further cement its support for the sport. “From nurturing young talent in Kiwi Hoops, to bolstering women’s basketball with the Northern Kāhu, and now backing the premier professional team, the BNZ Breakers, our support is generational.”
“Through these partnerships, we want to inspire the next generation and provide resources and opportunities that will help grow the sport, promote physical health, and foster a sense of community. We’re looking forward to seeing the positive ripple effects of these partnerships, from the school playground to the professional court.”
Matt Walsh, majority owner of the Breakers, welcomed the new partnership. “We’re delighted to partner with BNZ, an organisation that shares our passion and commitment to basketball and the positive role it plays in schools and communities across Aotearoa. This partnership will provide us with the support to continue our success on the court and expand our programmes in the community.”
“Our captain Tom Abercrombie is a shining example of how the Breakers is a pathway for local players to create a career out of basketball. Tom went to school less than four kilometres from our club headquarters on Auckland’s North Shore and has travelled the world playing across the globe.
“Next month he will play his record 400th game for the Breakers in our opening game of the season against the Cairns Taipans at Spark Arena.”
The BNZ Breakers are actively involved in a range of community outreach initiatives, including their Champions Programme, teaching children aged 5-12 years about goal setting, nutrition, active lifestyles, and basketball fundamentals.
Kiwi Hoops is the Basketball New Zealand junior basketball programme. It aims to introduce the sport to young people, foster a love for the game, and develop skills. The partnership with BNZ will support the expansion of the programme, which already reaches 26,000 kids per year, to engage even more young people across New Zealand.
Dillon Boucher, CEO of Basketball New Zealand, says, “By partnering with BNZ, we can expand our reach and impact, providing more opportunities for young Kiwis to engage with basketball. This partnership will not only help us grow the sport at the grassroots level, but also build a strong foundation for the future of basketball in New Zealand by developing the next generation of players.”
Huggins concludes, “At BNZ, we’re committed to growing the social, cultural and financial wellbeing of New Zealanders, and believe in the power of sport to bring people together and inspire positive change. We’re proud to be part of the journey of basketball in New Zealand, and we can’t wait to see where these partnerships take us.”