Institute's income up but more required

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 18/07/2014

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The Sport and Rugby Institute at Massey University, home of rugby's under-20s, has reversed a downward slide in its revenue.

Its gross income cracked $1 million in the financial year to the end of June, but the institute was still earning $90,000 less than it was six years ago.

While a refreshed marketing campaign is starting to reap financial rewards, it is still falling short of one of the performance measures demanded by the Palmerston North City Council, which provides $50,000 a year.

The institute has not been getting itself on the telly, or in other national media, quite enough.

Council parks and property manager John Brenkley said the institute was expected to feature in at least three national media items annually.

However, it was mentioned by the national media just twice. At a regional level, it blitzed its annual target of nine regional media exposures by scoring 30 newspaper articles.

Brenkley said the institute had, for the first time, included a report on website visits and mentions on social media, which showed a new channel of exposure.

Council senior property and parks planner Aaron Phillips said the council was generally happy with the level of media attention the institute was attracting, and it had not consistently missed the mark.

Last year's performance would not jeopardise the grant.

Phillips said if the institute had been able to fulfil its original intent of 2000 to be the home of the All Blacks, the media measures would have been easily achieved.

But with the New Zealand Rugby Union pulling out of that arrangement, the institute had needed to diversify its approach to attracting sporting and training events and other functions.

The visit by the Argentines during the Rugby World Cup had created interest in the area around the world, and the council would continue to support it retaining the potential for hosting other projects that would create interest in the city and the region.

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- Manawatu Standard

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