Sir John Kirwan has teamed up with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to show incoming British and Irish Lions fans what the region has to offer.
The first of a series of videos has been released, starting at the centre of the action at Eden Park before heading off to the Sky Tower, Piha, Britomart and Waiheke Island.
Kirwan, who's a former All Black, finished the tour with a rugby pun: “So don’t drop the ball, start planning your Auckland adventure right now.”
ATEED head of tourism Jason Hill says it’s fantastic to have secured such a well-respected and internationally recognised ambassador for Auckland.
“JK’s rugby pedigree, both in his time playing as an All Black and then his international coaching career, means he will resonate well with the visiting rugby fans."
“This, coupled with the inspirational work he’s done to raise awareness for depression in recent years, means he remains very popular with the New Zealand public and we feel fortunate to now be working with him to promote Auckland," he says.
Kirwan added that having been born and raised in Auckland, he's incredibly passionate about the city and excited to be working with ATEED.
The DHL New Zealand Lions Series kicks off in Auckland on 7 June, so to reach the expected tourists, the video will be shared online through All Blacks.com, All Blacks Tours, Lions Rugby Tours, and ATEED’s own social channels, which have a combined audience of 4.5 million.
This latest campaign with Kirwan follows a similar video for ATEED featuring All Blacks Charlie Faumuina, Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Elliot Dixon. They also took viewers on a tour of the city but did it with a rugby twist by showing locations that were good for resistance and speed training as well as nutrition and cultural balance.
Since being shared at the end of March, the video’s been viewed more than 150,000 times and received 2,600 likes with hundreds of comments from fans.
As well as giving international visitors a taste of what Auckland has to offer, Kirwan and ATEED are also working on a domestic marketing campaign to encourage Aucklanders to get out of the city.
It will hit the market in September to promote the region in spring.