The corporate world has long looked to professional athletes and coaches for guidance on how to perform better, how to create a positive culture and, if they’re being honest, how to grind their opposition into the dust. And ASB has looked to the All Blacks—or, more specifically, the team behind the All Blacks—to provide some pearls of wisdom for Kiwi businesses.
Following ASB’s announcement that it was shuffling its acronyms and sponsoring the All Blacks back in March, it’s been relatively quiet. But now general manager of marketing Shane Evans says it’s “trying to pick up on the fever” but do it in an unique way that will cut through the raft of All Black brand activity that’s going on at the moment (even MetService is in on the act as the team’s ‘official weather forecaster‘).
“It’s good to have some All Blacks work in the market,” he says. “And it’s a good piece of work.”
‘An All Blacks Perspective’ was created by Saatchi & Saatchi and shot by Augusto and will run on ASB’s website, YouTube channel, blog and on TV. And rather than featuring the All Blacks themselves, it features five key members of the All Blacks management team discussing everything from leadership to culture to nutrition (the consumer-facing campaign is set to be launched next Wednesday and you can guarantee ASB will be getting its pound of flesh with the players there).
Evans says the reason it found the All Blacks sponsorship so appealing was because of the alignment of values around success.
“People are already really interested in the All Blacks and want to learn as much as they can about them. And when we sat down and listened to them, we picked up a lot of things that we can apply. And that’s great for our business customers.”
Corey Chalmers, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand, said in a release that people would pay huge amounts of money for a management masterclass like this and ASB is sharing it with the business community.
“There are some real gems in there and it’s a fascinating look behind the scenes of the All Blacks. The team behind the team is one not often talked about, yet they’re the engine room, just like any business. It’s a fresh take on your standard sponsorship model that’s genuinely informative and refreshingly useful for businesses, or anyone with a passion for leadership and performance. It’s typically ASB – progressive, a fresh approach, and genuinely helpful to customers.”
Many books and articles have been written on this topic and sometimes the connection between sports teams and leadership and business can be stretched a bit too far. But while the All Blacks are revered for their on-field excellence, the meticulous planning off the field is key to building one of the world’s highest performing sports brands (global brand valuation firm Brand Finance put the All Blacks’ worth at $108 million). And Evans says some of its managers have already picked up some of the content and are using it as part of their sales meetings.
Steve Jurkovich, executive general manager corporate, commercial and rural also discusses how the All Blacks insights apply at ASB: “So far the series has opened up some really great conversations with our customers. I think it’s showed them that we’re not just here to help them with their financial needs, but we also understand the ins and outs of business and we’re here to help with that as well.”
Evans says it’s tried to keep the clips in bite sized chunks that will help customers achieve their goals. And if people want to go deeper and learn more, he says they can do that through a partnership with KPMG.
This content-led campaign follows on from the Ambition business brand campaign and its Ambitionaries content campaign with NZME. Evans says that was very successful and he believes there’s definitely a need for good New Zealand business content that shows the challenges facing local business people.
Once again, this business content is brand focused, he says, but it does lead into the sales funnel. And from a brand point of view he says ASB is seeing good lifts at the moment, both in business and in consumer. He puts that down to a combination of things, from smarter campaigns, to the best ball boys in the world campaign to the All Blacks sponsorship, to the card control work, which he says has given it a good point of difference in the market.
Saatchi & Saatchi
Murray Streets – Planning Director
Janisa Parag – Senior Planner
Teresa Davis – Business Director
Brad Bateman – Business Director
Michael Wood – Senior Account Director
Campbell McLean – Account Director
Tessa Denize – Senior Account Manager
Alana Crooks – Account Executive
Corey Chalmers & Guy Roberts – Executive Creative Directors
Bob Moore – Copywriter
Matt Hampton – Art Director
Jane Oak – Head of Content
Tomas Cottle – Motion Graphics Artist
Joshua Forsman – Producer
Emma Bossley – Digital Producer
Matthew Couston – Digital Producer
David Hunter – Senior Digital Creative
Francis Wu – Digital Designer
Stanislav Konovod – Front end Developer
Vincent Tellier – Front end Developer
Matthew Skinner – Technical Lead
Tias Somers – Head of Studio
Abigail Kerr – Senior Creative Mac Operator
Shane Evans – General Marketing Manager
Sumi King – Head of Business Marketing
Ben Thomsen – Marketing Manager
James Gibson – Associate Marketing Manager
Eddie Taylor – Associate Marketing Manager
Bianca Osborne – Brand Manager
Augusto – Production Partner
Executive Producer – Cass Avery
Producer – Joseph McAlpine
Directors – James Anderson
Production Manager – Trish Phelan
DOP – Simon Temple
Camera – James Anderson
Camera Assistant – Tegan Good & Grey Turner
Sound Operators – Danny Watts & Peter Kraan
Gaffer – Spencer Lockbonnie
Art Director – Dion Boothby
Editors – Sarah Grohnert
Colourist – David McLaren
Production Assistant – Isabelle Graham