All Blacks

AS I SEE IT… IS IT PRIDE OR PROFIT?

Global sporting giant Adidas has been at the centre of the New Zealand All Blacks’ jersey-pricing controversy since it was revealed the replica tops could be bought from online stores overseas for a much cheaper price. In fact a fraction of the $220 that this company demands. This has outraged most people that support this team.

It begs the question. “Who is controlling who?”

All BlacksI have read lately of business being banned from using the Silver Fern logo, or the words All Black. Next thing you know, the design on your latte will be banned because it looks like a “Silver Fern”.

This whole marketing, branding exercise is out of proportion. Sadly it is all about the almighty dollar! And the only ones to profit are the agencies pushing this brand. Rugby is no longer about pride, it is about marketing and promotion and gaining the best price per player.

There has been much debate on Social Media sites, in pubs and workplaces, even in the local Rugby Club itself. These replica jerseys are being churned out in third world country “Sweat Shops” controlled by this global sporting giant, for as little as $8.

One does not have to be a mathematical genius to work out the profit. I don’t care what Adidas says, the bottom line is. They are ripping off the ordinary bloke. The ‘grass root’s’ supporter. The kids that want to wear this jersey with pride, in support of their rugby-playing heroes.

Personally, I believe blame must be laid squarely at the feet of the NZRU (New Zealand Rugby Union) the IRB (International Rugby Board) and the All Blacks themselves. They have allowed it.

It’s less than a month to the Rugby World Cup kick off and what a kick off it will be. No expense has been spared promoting this spectacular event throughout New Zealand and on the world stage. It’s reported that over 1 million tickets have been sold, international visitors to New Zealand shores are expected to top one hundred thousand (100,000) Impressive to say the least. I agree it is an international showcase, but will it portray NZ in its best light?

I’m not so sure! What I am sure of is this, it will be one big party, the NZRU along with the government has made certain of this.

Meanwhile, the average hard working Kiwi family will find it difficult to afford to take their family to this sporting spectacle. It is priced beyond their reach..

The NZRU, the IRB and indeed the All Blacks themselves had made sure of this.. They are only interested in lining their own pockets. Television rights will ensure most will get to see something of this event.

Adidas has made sure that most will not be able to afford a living memento in the form of a replica All Black jersey. They will however make sure their profit soars.

Is it any wonder I, like a growing number of people are turning away from what was once a true tradition. Supporting the nations national rugby team.

I hope they do well. Do I want to see them win this world cup? The jury is still out on that one!

The days when the All Blacks played their hearts out simply for the pride and love of wearing ‘The Silver Fern’ are long gone.

Today, it is all about the dollar and how much the incentive will be.

Where’s the pride in that?

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