You can't underestimate the power of the All Blacks when it comes to sponsorships. And it's even better if you can get them half naked, as Jockey did recently as part of a successful activation for New Zealand Fashion Week.
All Blacks Victor Vito, TJ Perenara and Tawera Kerr-Barlow along with All Blacks Sevens players DJ Forbes and Gillies Kaka were chosen to do the grut-strutting, alongside Jockey brand ambassador Nikki Phillips. And, as the clip shot by Augusto shows, they seemed to take it all in their stride, have a laugh and, in the case of Vito, pull out a few obligatory Blue Steels.
Jockey's marketing manager Will Radford says the event went extremely well, with coverage in all the major metropolitan newspapers, websites and TV channels that raised awareness of the brand before father's day, one of the bigger days of the year when it comes to undie purchases. He couldn't discuss specifics around sales, but said the event led to a spike and having Phillips in the mix also led to a great uplift in sales for the female range. Some serious fashion folk were no doubt slightly miffed that the All Blacks received so much media attention. But while there's always a fair bit of interest in the clothes during Fashion Week, there's also plenty of interest in the specimens wearing them.
“The boys did an amazing job, despite the little time they had to rehearse. It was great to see them approach the experience with such enthusiasm and good humour. The audience loved them, cheering and clapping as each one made their appearance. It was a perfect way to end the show,” says Radford.
Jockey also had an instore signing with a few All Blacks in Napier before the test against Argentina last weekend and got a bit more PR coverage (no word on whether the streaker at the game was a Jockey ambassador paid to show off its new invisible undies).
When we spoke with Radford about the Supporting the Boys campaign, which was created by Host Sydney with help from Augusto and Spark PR & Activate, he said the three-year sponsorship deal it signed up for earlier this year had been hugely successful.
"It's definitely given us a lot of market share and joining with one of New Zealand's biggest brands has elevated our brand in terms of top of mind perception. Jockey is already a household name but it's become a brand of choice."
In addition to giving it more cachet among consumers, he said the All Black association has also influenced retailers, with the launch campaign getting a lot of support from the trade and big share of shelf-space. He says the sponsorship also played a key role in launching into the brand into a new channel: grocery.
"We've just launched Jockey into Progressive and that's been really well received."
All Blacks formalwear supplier Barkers also convinced a few players to strut their stuff a few months back as part of its 'Home of the After Match' spot, although Aaron Smith, Cory Jane and Charles Piatau didn't need to suck in quite as much as their teammates on the catwalk.