All Blacks Reconsidering Plan To Add More Jersey Sponsors
The New Zealand Rugby Union will back away from controversial plans to "sell" the front of the iconic All Blacks jersey after long-time benefactor adidas involved itself in the discussions, according to Marc Hinton of the DOMINION POST. Neither party "will talk about the clash of views, but it was serious enough" that an adidas senior exec traveled to New Zealand for meetings with NZRU members, including CEO Steve Tew. It now "seems certain" the NZRU will change its plans to increase the number of commercial logos on the All Blacks jersey after talking publicly about such a move last month "in a bid to increase the union's stressed financial coffers." Reports have indicated the NZRU was "considering a high-end sponsorship deal" with U.S. insurance company AIG, which used to sponsor ManU. AIG's corporate logo could have been highlighted across the middle of the All Blacks jersey for the first time in its more than 100-year history. The Star-Times reported adidas was "less than impressed by suggestions the All Blacks could be considering introducing another sponsor to the prime front-of-jersey space." Adidas Head of Global Sports Marketing Teamsports and Training Max van den Doel met Tew and other top NZRU officials this month, "and it is understood the topic was discussed" (DOMINION POST, 7/22).