General Manager Partnerships and Engagement


Reference Number: 8636SIaa

General Manager Partnerships and Engagement


  • Lead the Commercial, Marketing and Communication Strategy for the CRFU Brand
  • Great People, Great Culture, Great Brand and Great Place to Work!
  • Christchurch Based Opportunity.


About The Role: 

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the General Manager Partnerships and Engagement will provide strategic and operational leadership to the partnership and engagement team (of eight) and is an integral member of the CRFU Executive Leadership Team. The core focus of this role is the commercialisation of core sponsorship assets and non-traditional partnership opportunities and expansion of community reach through a unified marketing approach. You will:

  • Together with the CEO, lead the development and implementation of the commercial strategy, setting the commercial priorities for the club  
  • Negotiate and manage all commercial partnerships, developing excellent working relationships and servicing sponsorship agreements adding value to both parties
  • Build commercial propositions, actively seeking opportunities to grow the brand and secure new cash and contra sponsorship deals
  • Establish publicity plans and effective communications with media, club, partners, suppliers, and community stakeholders to ensure good relationship management and excellent customer service
  • Have oversight of event management, merchandise requirements and the marketing strategy for the CRFU brand, as well as the advertising strategies and contracted relationships.


Skills & Experience: 

Candidates of interest will have strong commercial acumen with a successful track record in generating revenue, negotiating and landing large commercial deals and effective account management. You may have a sales and marketing background and will be known for your excellent leadership skills, an empathetic approach and enjoy being hands-on at times, as fit to this organisation is extremely important. You will:

  • Have extensive people management and leadership experience, able to motivate and inspire
  • Have strong organisational and planning skills, with experience implementing effective performance systems to deliver successful outcomes
  • Point to a track record of successful stakeholder management, maintaining positive relationships and developing long term and effective partnerships
  • Have an empathy for diversity, equity, and inclusion, fostering understanding, fresh perspectives and the organisational culture
  • Ideally have a tertiary qualification in a related field.

Having some experience within a high-performance sporting environment and/or a knowledge and empathy for Rugby is desirable and will ensure you can hit the ground running in this role.



  • Incredibly rewarding position
  • High performing team
  • Fantastic organisational culture
  • Regular attendance and free tickets to games
  • Merchandise and discounts through excellent sponsors


About the Organisation:

The Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU) has a long and proud history since it was established as the first Union in New Zealand in 1879.

CRFU is responsible for developing and growing rugby in the Canterbury region.  From the nurturing of junior and school rugby to all representative and high-performance teams, the CRFU people are committed to building on their position as one of the leading and most respected rugby organisations in New Zealand.

Canterbury Rugby in 2023 made the Farah Palmer Cup Final, as well as NPC semi-finalists, continuing a tradition of success in all provincial competitions in New Zealand.  Canterbury are proud to have won the FPC five times and the NPC 14 times.

Canterbury’s main home ground was the 36,000-capacity AMI Stadium in Christchurch, formally known as Lancaster Park.  However, they stopped playing there after the 2010 season due to damage inflicted by the February Christchurch earthquake.  With AMI Stadium damaged, Canterbury adopted Rugby League Park, currently known as Apollo Projects Stadium, in Addington as their home ground.  The facility was upgraded bringing it to an 18,600-capacity.

A new roofed multi-use arena is under construction with a capacity of 25,000, providing a world class venue for sports and entertainments events including All Blacks, Crusaders, and Canterbury Games.



OUR VISION: To unify and serve our community.

OUR STANDARDS: We care about our people, our game, our legacy. Be Brave win, lose and learn together. Stay Open to continuous improvement.

OUR PROMISE: We will remember our heritage and think to our future. We are a legacy-driven organisation.