Although Brendon McCullum and his squad will return to New Zealand without the coveted Cricket World Cup trophy tow, the team has certainly won the hearts of the nation and, as a corollary, the continued support of the brands that sponsored the team as the action unfolded over the last few weeks.
Following the Black Caps' loss to the marauding Australians last night, the main sponsors of the Kiwi team responded by placing supportive ads into the Monday morning edition of the New Zealand Herald.
The first full-page ad dedicated to the Black Caps' effort was taken out by ANZ and featured the phrase 'Dream run' underlined by a pair of sentences saying, 'Your spirit and endeavours have inspired an entire nation. You've made us immensely proud.'
According to aHerald article published earlier today, ANZ is speculated to have paid around $3 million in cricket sponsorship over the last year—and the move certainly has paid off given the performance the team put in during the tournament.
But ANZ wasn't the only brand to thank the Black Caps for their efforts. Ford, which dubbed itself the "driving force behind the Black Caps," also took out a more minimalist full-page spread, which simply said: 'Thanks for the journey guys. It's been epic.'
Although not centring on the Black Caps, the ICC World Cup organisers and commercial partners also kept up the spirit of thankfulness by taking out a colourful full-page ad, containing the following message dedicated to the fans:
"Thank you New Zealand. We've waited 23 years to co-host our second Cricket World Cup and you've done your part to make sure it will live long in our memories ... Whichever game you saw, whoever you were cheering for, your support was spectacular – loud, proud and overflowing with colour and energy. You made the world feel welcome, made our venues and cities come alive and put on a show that billions of people around the world watched and enjoyed ... The team at Cricket World Cup 2015 would like to extend its thanksand deep appreciation to the fans, volunteers, schools, falg wavers, face painters and everyone else who got into the spirit of the Cricket World Cup and made it a true Kiwi-style celebration ... Your greatness was truly contagious."
Next up was RadioSport, which thanked the Black Caps for the ride they had taken the nation on over the last six weeks.
This message from RadioSport was also backed up with a Tweet pledging further allegiance to the team.
Given the fact that the both fans and brand largely ignored the final result and instead focused on the entertainment the team had brought to Kiwi stadiums and television screens over the course of the competition, perhaps it is Guy Body's latest cartoon—featuring an isolated Australian player looking on as fans clad in myriad colours lift a Kiwi batsman—that best captures the local mood following the tournament.