Big's long tenure with the Blues comes to an end as Sugar & Partners subbed on

  • Advertising
  • November 12, 2014
  • StopPress Team
Big's long tenure with the Blues comes to an end as Sugar & Partners subbed on

Sugar & Partners has been named as the Blues lead strategic and creative agency after a competitive pitch, with the long-time incumbent Big deciding not to participate in the review. 

“The credentials and strategy based review process was refreshingly well run and respectful," says managing partner Jeremy Johnston in a release. "We were also excited by the single-minded ambition the Blues team has on building a world-class sporting organisation." 

It's not clear which agencies were involved, but Big's managing director Ant Salmon says the agency has done every Blues campaign since 2002, so "it was probably time someone else had a crack". 

"I can't deny we are a little sad to see it go, but fortunately we continue to be retained by the Blues to run the True Blues membership activity, as well as some other sponsorship related projects," he says. "As fellow fans of the Blues, we wish Sugar & Partners all the best." 

The Blues have been struggling to live up to their potential on the field in the past few years, but off the field, it has struck up a new ownership structure, with a new partnership acquiring a license to operate the franchise until 2020.

The new limited liability partnership means Rugby Holdings Ltd, which is comprised of the three provincial rugby unions, Auckland, North Harbour and Northland, now holds a 60 percent share and Bolton Equities Ltd, a private investment company run by Murray Bolton, has a 40 percent stake.

Last year, the Blues and Big tapped into the supporter-focused sentiment with its Join the Game campaign. 

"With 86,000 fans Liking the team on Facebook and 26,000 following us on Twitter we know what whenever we take the field our crowd number is so much more than just the number of people at the game or watching on TV," it says in a release. So it asked all its fans to join in. 

The ad for a Crusaders game featured a real fan, Haven Crawford, a passionate Blues supporter who's at every game in her Blues jersey. 

"I've never had so many likes, mentions and re-tweets for one post before, but once again the main thing is getting the seats at the stadium filled so I hope the attendance on the night reflects that."

In the end, 26,211 turned up for the game, which is pretty good considering 2013's average attendance, according to Wikipedia, was 19,661 (the highest attendance was 31,014 and the lowest was 10,811). 

In the spirit of ‘Join the game’, rather than the traditional folded arms, staunch looks and bad puns, each of the players was asked to take their own ‘selfie’ for the team poster, which added a bit of personality to proceedings. And space was left for fans to add their own shot. 

Via @benlama76 

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

  • Advertising
  • February 22, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Whittaker's divides the court of public opinion – but all for a good cause

On Monday, Whittaker’s launched its latest novelty chocolate-lolly mash up with a chocolatey answer to retro bakesale treat coconut ice. The Coconut Ice Surprise chocolate has a twist though, 20c from each block goes to Plunket – a charity which New Zealanders agree is a worthy cause. However, to relate the chocolate to the charity, Whittaker's has built the campaign around baby gender reveal parties, causing a backlash from the public who argue gender norms have expanded beyond blue for boys and pink for girls.

Read more
Next page
Results for

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.


Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit