The elusive Honey-billed William is like catnip to brands (and media). And after he announced his return to rugby earlier this year, Adidas swooped in and signed him up as an ambassador in May. Now it's released a short clip telling his story as part of its #leaveyourmark campaign.
We are Social was behind the clip, and as it says on YouTube: "Resilience is thriving in the face of adversity. It’s embracing failure and constantly re-inventing your approach. Because a legacy isn't measured in 80 minutes. Nor is it confined to the field. A legacy is created through determination, commitment, resilience and the lengths you’ll go to achieve your best. So how far will you go? How will you #leaveyourmark?"
All the code-hopping and contractual jiggery-pokery means Williams' legacy as a rugby player is unclear, and there's a bit of love-hate for him in New Zealand, but there's no doubt he's is a very special, very determined athlete, something drummed home even further by the failure of Benji Marshall to cope with the switch to rugby.
Williams also signed up to become the face (and arms and abs) of Just Jeans. And, partially as a result of these deals, plus his boxing and earlier stints in France and Japan, The Herald placed him tenth on the list of the country's highest paid sports stars.
Adidas partners with the All Blacks, which it has a deal with until 2019, France and Italy, as well as the Super 15 teams The Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Highlanders, and Stormers. It's also big on individual sponsorships, with All Blacks Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma'aNonu, Israel Dagg and Tony Woodcock on the payroll, among many others from around the world.
In other sponsorship news, there's been some speculation that the 2015 All Blacks' jersey will not feature the white collar, which was introduced for the 2011 World Cup. And that appears to be backed up by this teaser video.
Adidas New Zealand manager Quentin Bleakley wouldn't confirm the absence of white on the new jersey but told the Herald: "There have been a number of design and performance enhancements made to the new All Blacks kit and all will be revealed on November 5 [it originally said November 9, but the video says November 8]"