Monday, November 03, 2008

Didn't miss much

The All Blacks prevailed against the Wallabies in humid Hong Kong on Saturday, concluding the Bledisloe Cup series winning 3 matches to 1, and once again coming from behind to steal a close one 19-14. The pitch at HK didn't look up to international standard, both teams looked below peak-form, the Bledisloe was already in the bag, and yet both teams gave it their all. Canefan at The Silver Fern provides a commentary ("Rusty AB's do enough").


Greg Williamson has a terrific thought-provoking commentary up at Stuff titled, "We Want Our Jersey Back!" I'd recommend reading the whole thing -- in particular by the NZRU and Adidas -- but here're some money grafs:

The latest is the "This is not a jersey" campaign. According to adidas the famous black jumper is not a jersey but actually a "portal through which men pass," and other Hallmark-card like sentiments.

On behalf of the average Kiwi rugby fan it is actually just a rugby jersey, and we want it back. Now.

"At the end of the day, what we have sold to adidas is a whole lot of history and mystique," New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) chief executive Steve Tew said in an interview with Unlimited business magazine several years ago.

Wrong. The NZRU have sold adidas the right to associate with that history and mystique. They don't own our team or our jersey. We, the rugby public, are the real owners of the All Blacks "brand". [...]

Don't get me wrong. I love adidas (who are reportedly spending $200 million on a nine-year sponsorship deal with the NZRU), News Corp, and all of those other big companies helping keep our national game afloat. Without them the NZRU would be less viable than a Kiwi finance company.

But they all need to realise it is not their jersey, it is not their team. It is ours, the average New Zealand rugby fan.

The sponsors must get their money's worth out of backing our team, but it has to be balanced against the current and future health of rugby. ... We've lost sight of the need to protect and enhance our game rather than just maximise the sponsors' benefit. [...]

Adidas should stop using a Dutch advertising agency to dream up these weird ideas for promoting the All Blacks. They are nice people but have limited rugby heritage.

Only use advertising campaigns that sound credible communicated by Carl Hayman, Alex Wyllie or Richard Loe. Can you imagine Grizz saying "This not material, it is fabric that binds us together"?


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