From the Irish Times article:
RUGBY WORLD Cup 2011 opens today with hosts New Zealand taking on the Pacific Islands side Tonga in Auckland. The event is the showpiece of rugby union and will be one of the top sporting events in the world this year. With more than one million spectators due to attend and billions globally expected to tune in, the stage is set for a memorable tournament.
At an estimated cost of NZ$310 million (€185 million), hosting an event of this magnitude does not come cheaply.
In addition, 95 per cent of the money distributed by the International Rugby Board (IRB), the game’s governing body, to promote the rugby union globally comes from rugby world cup (RWC) revenue. As a result, the success of the commercial programme is vital.
Worldwide partners including Heineken and Emirates and official sponsors including Microsoft and Range Rover, along with official suppliers, licensees, broadcasters and travel agents, have invested significantly in order to gain the exposure and goodwill that come with being associated with such a prestigious event. However, the value of this goodwill could be diluted by effective ambush marketing.