With Adidas back as sponsor, it may not surprise you that they have decided to continue in the opposition direction from the darker jersey, which was Nike’s bright idea, in 2007.
One interesting reality of this release is the use of, “All Bleus“, some definite brand association with Black, but also likely indicates Adidas’s desire to intimately connect with one of the dominant forces in European and Northern Hemisphere rugby, in a similar way to All Blacks rugby.
You can also see some of the design themes consistent with the All Blacks 2011 design, the white collar, being the main attraction.
I have to say, I like the colour. I like the simplicity. I like the historic stripes down the arm, which are a throw-back from when Adidas was with France, and I like the collar. I would even pay for it.
A video to give you some of this vibe.
Also, notice the jersey is clean.
Given the Adidas connection, using the talk about “All Bleus”; there seems a stronger push to brand this side through their jersey, much like the All Blacks, in this world of rugby.
Now to show my step in the side.
I am sure you have been made aware of some recent discussion about sponsorship on the All Blacks jersey.
While there has been some frank fears expressed about AIG being largely emblazoned on the front of the All Blacks jersey, initially this seemed to work against the philosophy that has been created and worked at it, over a long period of time.
A statement from, Steve Tew, very early on, has also framed what has followed for this scribe.
He would make the following abundantly.
But let’s be clear adidas is our principal partner and that contract extends to 2019 and underpins rugby in this country.
Given this reality, it would seem highly unlikely, even untenable to push for such a change, in light of the Adidas relationship. Would Adidas been keen on another company building in front of their view?
Recently, Gregor Paul, offered some prudent words that begins with the Adidas relationship to the Black jersey, while further contextualising the likely reality of a potential large font of a shirt sponsor, in All Black.
There is some confusion with their status. They are more than the apparel manufacturer: adidas effectively owns the All Black jersey.
The terms of the existing deal between adidas and the New Zealand Rugby Union are clear – adidas have the right to veto any other corporate logo appearing on the jersey.
And, if they agreed to any other company appearing on the jersey, including American insurance giant AIG who are supposedly on the cusp of signing a deal, adidas would almost certainly revise the value of their existing contract.
They are locked into the All Blacks until 2019 and while the value of the deal has never been made public, it is by some distance the biggest contract in world rugby.
If AIG or any other company want to even begin talks about having their name on the jersey, they would need a bare minimum of $10 million a season. To have any chance of striking a deal, they’d need to be committing $20 million-plus a year for a minimum five years.
But even then, there would be no guarantee of a deal being signed off. The NZRU can be accused of many things, as indeed can adidas, but beyond question is the depth of respect both have shown the jersey.
The integrity of the strip has been maintained – the All Blacks of today play in a respectful modern version of the jersey they wore more than 100 years ago. Australia have had some God-awful outfits in the past two decades; England have played in purple, Wales luminous yellow, Scotland vomit-orange. Brewers, banks and airlines of various repute have all been able to buy a slice of exposure.
New Zealand have added an extra white stripe to their socks and as an example of how seriously adidas take any alterations to the jersey, they fretted for the better part of a year – consulting widely with the players – about re-introducing the white collar last year. And that was a historic and original feature.
If we are to see AIG or any other sponsor, it is likely to be a small sponsor on the sleeve and shorts.
They may also consider the right side of the chest, moving the Adidas logo to the middle, but as indicated above, such would be at the German’s discretion, given this very close and strong relationship.
Paul finishes his piece this way.
So back to those crazy claims: AIG is one of several parties in talks with the NZRU about a range of commercial possibilities. A deal to put their name on the jersey is not imminent and a more likely conclusion to their engagement is agreeing to sponsor the New Zealand Sevens and New Zealand Maori teams who were both rebranded last month to incorporate the ‘All Black’ name.
AIG appearing on the jerseys of the All Blacks Sevens and Maori All Blacks – now that could happen. It certainly seems more likely than Scotland winning the next World Cup.
What Say You?
Until Next Time