News from Greymouth

We’re still over in Te Waipounamu, where the only sport of note is Rugby Union, with the primary, if not sole emphasis being on all things All Black. But not for much longer, will their shirts be simply All Black.

The local corporate media have run stories of a new sponsorship deal with American international Group, (AIG), whose sponsorship terms entail an AIG logo on the All Blacks jersey, a spot which has always been advertisement free. Globally, sponsor logos on shirts are common, but the All Blacks have so far refused.

It does not seem to have caused much controversy , though it is big news here across the Tasman. Lots of comments in favour of the change, but little said opposing it.

In this day of the corporate $$ being the defining feature in sport it does not surprise, though as an Aussie i’m surprised it seems to be so readily talked about, in a manner of acceptance, rather than any questioning.
When i was young there was a mantra of ‘keep politics out of sport’, but it was always fine for business to be involved. Sport is now presented as a commodity with there being a use value, and an exchange value, with the second being the primary. Is there A area of sport free from corporate control? I often feel like a nostalgic old man, longing for the long gone, good old days, and it surprises me the acquiesence a sponsors logo can now be given pride of place on the shirt of the Rugby Union world champions, with out any real debate of what it means. Am i alone in my concerns ?



  1. The Wrap says

    You’re certainly not alone Glen. After all, we’re talking about the national team here. But I guess once the national cricket side sold naming rights it was inevitable. Nevertheless, an American company logo on a NZ guernsey?

  2. G’day Wrap. Looked at the Sunday papers today, and there is mone dissent re the issue. Watch this space. Glen!

  3. Chris Weaver says

    It’s not just any old sporting side or national team – it’s one of the most iconic national sporting uniforms. The All Blacks’ jumper has a history nearly fifty years older than Brazil’s yellow shirts and only a couple of years less than Australia’s baggy green Test cap.

    I’m not a huge fan of union, but from afar I’ve always held the All Blacks in the highest regard because of that jersey and what it represents. A sponsorship logo (from an American conglomerate, no less!) cheapens the jersey.

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