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Adidas And The NZRU Call NZ To Stand In Black

News Release
10 June 2005


adidas and the New Zealand Rugby Union officially unveiled their 'Stand In Black' campaign yesterday which will get New Zealanders wearing black to support the All Blacks, as they prepare to tackle the British & Irish Lions.

adidas New Zealand Marketing Manager, Craig Waugh said a mysterious black figure, a forerunner to the campaign, which depicted a rugby figure in the haka stance had been the subject of rumour and speculation in recent weeks.

The figure appeared up and down the country first as a 'crop circle' in a Christchurch farmer's field then other locations including Queenstown, Taupo, Invercargill, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin.

"Our icon figure represents the challenge that is ahead for us all in New Zealand to unite - to cover ourselves in Black and support the All Blacks.

"Our main aim for Stand in Black is just that - to have New Zealanders up and down the country donning black for the duration of the British & Irish Lions tour - in particular on match days. This will serve as both a visual show of support to the All Blacks, and challenge to the 'red' of the British & Irish Lions fans.

The 'Stand In Black' campaign was revealed at a launch event at Auckland's SKYCITY last night, supported by a contingency of VIP All Black supporters, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Jonah Lomu and David Tua.

Outlining what it means to them to see a stadium filled with a sea of supporters sporting black were All Blacks Tana Umaga, Anton Oliver, Richie McCaw and coaching team Graham Henry, Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen.

New Zealand Rugby Union Sponsorship and Marketing Manager Fraser Holland said every New Zealander needs to let the All Blacks know that they are completely behind them during the 2005 British and Irish Lions Tour.

"We need to ensure that the All Blacks aren't faced with a sea of 'red', as occurred during the Lions tour in Australia, as they take to the rugby fields.

"When the Lions toured Australia in 2001 - Waltzing Matilda became Waltzing O'Driscoll. We need to be prepared for the passion of the British & Irish Lions supporters and show support - in our own Kiwi way."

As part of the campaign, a special 'Stand In Black' supporters pack containing a Stand in Black scarf, numbered dog tags, fake tattoos, hero cards and black wrist band has been launched. The packs are available at selected retailers at a cost of $24.95, with $1.00 from the sale of each pack going to the charity Cure Kids.

Neither adidas nor the NZRU are set to benefit financially from the sale of the packs, as they wanted to ensure that the price was set at a level that meant many New Zealanders could be involved.

Craig Waugh said: "While we're proud of the supporters pack and the fact that some of the funds will go to a worthy charity, we're urging everyone to 'Stand In Black' in any way that they can. For a nation of people that naturally love to wear black, that shouldn't be too difficult to achieve.

"Standing in black will be New Zealand's way of showing the world that no one will intimidate us in our back yard. New Zealanders have always believed in the power of black. When we take on the world, we take them on in black and when we've beaten the world's best, we've beaten them in black."

He said the colour 'black' has become a powerful and historical symbol of New Zealand's success on the global stage.

"Stand in black builds on this very real sense of established national pride and identity and will be a way of helping the All Blacks to achieve success during the British & Irish Lion's tour."

- ends -

What it means to 'Stand In Black'.

* The goal of the campaign is to coordinate New Zealand support, so that New Zealanders as a whole generate a powerful presence, as the All Blacks go head-to-head with the Lions.

* 'Stand In black' will solely benefit the 22 members of the All Blacks, as they battle it on the rugby fields.

* Standing in black is not only a way for the public to show their support for the All Blacks, it will also help the All Blacks to achieve a victory that the nation passionately desires.

* Stand In Black is an effective way for New Zealanders to rally together in a visual display of pride, patriotism and support that will 'drown out' the presence of the passionate British & Irish Lions supporters.

* The All Blacks, adidas and NZRU urge every New Zealander to get behind the 'Stand In Black' campaign by wearing black on every test match day.

* New Zealanders can buy a Stand In Black supporters pack from selected retailers.


© Scoop Media

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