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Orangetheory Fitness takes naming rights to home of Super Rugby’s Crusaders

US gym chain Orangetheory Fitness has acquired naming rights to Christchurch Stadium, the home of New Zealand Super Rugby franchise Crusaders.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but Trevor Thornton, of the Christchurch Stadium Trust, told the Stuff.co.nz website that it is significantly below a reported figure of NZ$1m (€599,000/$675,000) per year.

Christchurch Stadium is the temporary home of the Crusaders while it awaits the development of a new home, which is not expected to arrive until late 2023 at the earliest.

The new contract will take effect from June 10 with Orangetheory Stadium to be the new moniker of the venue after a previous deal with insurance group AMI expired in August.

Orangetheory Fitness launched in the US in 2010 and now has 1,200 gyms across 24 countries. The company opened its first gym in New Zealand in Christchurch in November and Stuff.co.nz said it is planning around 20 in total.

Thornton said the Orangetheory deal would last for “a good number of years” but would not transfer to the new stadium.

Crusaders last week engaged a marketing company to investigate a potential rebrand or name change in the aftermath of the attack on two mosques in the city last month, which claimed the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers.

The reigning Super Rugby champion has already moved to drop its knights on horseback mascots, which have long been part of the pre-game entertainment at Christchurch Stadium, due to their invocation of the historical Crusades and the cultural clash between Christians and Muslims. Imagery of the Crusades is often invoked by far-right and anti-Islamic groups in New Zealand and beyond.

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