With memories of the Volvo Ocean Race still fresh, Volvo has confirmed it will partner with the largest sporting event to hit New Zealand in a decade - the World Masters Games 2017.

Volvo Cars New Zealand has become the Official Vehicle Partner to the Games, which will see 25,000 athletes from 100 countries flock to Auckland to compete in 28 sports across 45 venues over 10 days in April 2017.

Chief Executive of the World Masters Games 2017 Local Organising Committee, Jennah Wootten, said Volvo’s experience as the oldest sponsor on the European Golf Tour and as principal sponsor of the Volvo Ocean Race made the 88-year-old vehicle manufacturer the ideal vehicle partner for the Games.  

“Our commercial sponsors are a vital part of the Games brand and event experience. It’s our vision and goal to deliver an unparalleled and memorable experience for all Games athletes, supporters and participants. The wisdom and advice provided by our sponsor family is crucial in helping us achieve this goal,” Ms Wootten said.

“Volvo Cars has an extensive portfolio of partnerships and is passionate about sport. We’re privileged to be part of their stable and value the experience they have gained in supporting some of the world’s premier sporting events.”

Volvo New Zealand General Manager Steve Kenchington said the company was committed to New Zealand and invested in the vision of making the ninth edition of the World Masters Games the “best ever”.

“It’s more than providing transport solutions. It’s about expanding our role as a supporter of major events, which bring both economic and social benefit to our country. We want to assist in maximizing awareness of the event at home and on the world stage, given participants will originate from more than a hundred different countries,” he said.

The Volvo Cars partnership has been announced in the most natural way possible – by taking the Volvo V60 Cross Country sports wagon to the road – as part of a challenge between two WMG2017 ambassadors Noah Hickey and Cory Hutchings.

In a 10-minute film, former All White Hickey and three-time surf life saving Ironman world champion Hutchings go head to head in four sports – archery, golf, mountain biking and waka ama.

All of the sports feature in the programme of the World Masters Games 2017, the world’s largest multi-sport event, being hosted by Auckland from 21-30 April 2017.

Shot in one day at One Tree Hill, Muriwai, Woodhill Forest and Takapuna Beach, the video highlighted the pair’s competitive nature, and friendly rivalry, as they aimed for dominance in archery, golf, mountain biking and waka ama challenges.

There was only one-twelfth of a second between the pair on their mountain bike time trial and the other contests were similarly close, including an epic finish on the water to determine the overall winner.

Hickey and Hutchings both plan to compete in the World Masters Games 2017 – in football and surf life saving respectively.

“It’s great to have a legitimate reason to reconnect with former team mates,” Hickey said.

“Football is top-of-mind at the moment but I’m also keen to go outside my comfort zone and try a new sport, maybe something gentle like lawn bowls. I’ve had a crack at archery and mountain biking now and I’m going to leave those gems to the professionals!”

The video is available to view online here.

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For further information please contact:

Dean McLachlan, World Masters Games 2017, Communications Manager, tel: 027 7822110

Zac Burt, Volvo Cars, Product & Market Manager, tel: 09 919 2454 or 021 247 7105

About World Masters Games 2017

The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world.  In terms of athlete numbers, it is bigger in scale than even the Olympics.  Auckland will host the event from 21 to 30 April 2017 during which time 25,000 athletes will compete in 28 sports across 45 competition venues.  The Games are regarded as the largest event New Zealand will host in at least the next decade. For more information visit www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz

About Barfoot & Thompson:

Barfoot & Thompson is the presenting partner for World Masters Games 2017.  It is New Zealand’s largest, privately owned real estate company and is still run by the Barfoot and Thompson families after more than 90 years.  Barfoot & Thompson consistently sells around one in three homes in the Auckland region and manages more than 11,000 rental properties, well ahead of competitor brands.

For more information visit www.barfoot.co.nz

About Volvo Cars:

Volvo, sponsor and owner of the Volvo Ocean Race, has supported golf since 1988 and is the oldest sponsor on the European Tour, organising the Volvo Golf Champions, the Volvo China Open and the Volvo World Match Play Championship. Volvo Cars New Zealand has been closely linked to the sailing fraternity in New Zealand with key sponsorships with Yachting New Zealand and the Sir Peter Black Torbay Regatta.

About World Masters Games 2017 valued partner family:

World Masters Games would like to thank its valued partners:  Barfoot & Thompson, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), International Masters Games Association (IMGA), Air New Zealand, SKYCITY Auckland, Pita Pit, NZCT and Volvo Cars New Zealand.