Brands continue basking in the glow of the Cricket World Cup

With the Cricket World Cup set to enter the quarterfinal stage next week, we thought we’d do another rundown on what the big brands and sponsors have been up to. This time we have news from the Alternative Commentary Collective, Pepsi Cola, Tui, Hyundai and a few others to boot.

First on our list are the caravan-dwelling Alternative Commentary Collective (The ACC) who have proven popular throughout the cricket world cup, with an average of 61,000 people tuning into their ball-by-ball style of comedy each game, which have been broadcast on iheartradio.co.nz and theacc.co.nz. However, the boys landed themselves in hot water when its accreditations were pulled by the International Cricket Council after one of the members, comedian Leigh Hart accompanied a drinks trolley onto the park for an on-field stunt during the game between Afghanistan and New Zealand, the Herald reported. Hart said he went out on the field during a drinks break and that the stunt was part of a promotion for Gatorade, part of the Pepsi Cola group. A statement on the ACC Facebook page said: ”For the record – there was no breach of protocol here. Leigh did exactly what was asked of him by operations officials – it was so innocuous it’s boring.”

Previously, the group carried out a few other stunts for Pepsi Cola, filming short ‘Pepsi Max Moments,’ which feature the members in a range of scenarios, and then encouraging others to send in their Pepsi Max Moments.

The group also did a stunt with Mainland Cheese which featured on its Facebook page in which they asked fans to vote if they thought member Matt Heath could successfully catch the Mainland NZ creamy blue cheese once it was launched into the air by their ‘Cheese Changa Slingshot’ or whether it would end up all over his face. Participating fans who chose correctly were offered a Mr Vintage prize pack worth $100.

Aside from the news of ACC member Hart bristling the ICC, there was some other more positive news from the Napier game between Afghanistan and New Zealand. Two Afghani interpreters resettled in New Zealand after working with the New Zealand Defence Force in their homeland and each received medals for their service in a ceremony in Hastings at the Hastings City Art Gallery on Saturday night. The ceremony was organised by the ICC Cricket World Cup and Hastings District Council on behalf of the New Zealand army. Including the two interpreters, about 150 other Afghan interpreters travelled to Hawke’s Bay for the ceremony. During the ceremony, Army Chief Major General Dave Gawn presented the New Zealand Operational Service Medal and the New Zealand General Service Medal Afghanistan to Ajmal Ahmadi and Sayed Mohammed Ali Hussaini. Then on Sunday the two interpreters were treated to the New Zealand vs Afghanistan game, watching their own country face off against the Black Caps on Sunday.

Tui’s ‘catch-a-million’ campaign has also progressed. The competition is a slightly modified version of the one that ran during the recent ANZ Series, although no-one took the ‘money can’t buy’ prize on offer. But Tui, which bid for the booze sponsorship rights for the New Zealand games of the Cricket World Cup, has put up $1,000,000 for the big event. This time, in an effort to increase support for the local contenders, the cash prize on offer for anyone who wears a Tui t-shirt and cleanly catches what Danny Morrison would call a ‘maximum’ with one hand goes up every time the team advances through the tournament. The cash will be split between each person who takes a catch at any of the 23 ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 matches held within New Zealand. If the Blackcaps win, the cash pool will be $1 million (so, if there are only two catches like last year, that would be $500,000 each). Since we last mentioned the competition, DB Breweries senior communications advisor Simon Smith says that during the ANZ series no one managed to catch the ball but says there were three catches in the first matches in New Zealand. He says the prize pool is currently at $350,000.

Here are the list of catches thus far:

  • First Catch: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka at Hagley Park in Christchurch on 14 February – Catch taker: Sunjay Ganda (Blackcaps fan from Rangiora Christchurch)
  • Second Catch: South Africa vs. Zimbabwe at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 15 February – Catch Taker: Travis Committie (Zimbabwe fan, originally from Zimbabwe, now Auckland resident)
  • Third Catch: Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka at the University Oval in Dunedin on 22 February – Catch Taker: Jamie Gough (Blackcaps fan from Dunedin)
  • Fourth Catch: Pakistan vs UAE at Mclean Park in Napier on 4 March 2015 – Catch Taker: Sajjad Ahmad (Pakistani fan, originally from Pakistan, now Wellington resident)

“As this is a Cricket World Cup with national pride at stake, Tui has incorporated an added an element of patriotism into this year’s Catch a Million promotion,” says Smith.

“This year the total eligible prize amount now tied to the New Zealand Blackcaps success in the tournament. The further the Kiwi team goes in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the more money lucky catch takers can get their hands on, with a total guaranteed prize pool of one million if the Blackcaps win the World Cup.”

Matua, which has been dubbed the official wine of the Cricket World Cup, has also used its association with the event to get some additional exposure. The company has has rebranded Auckland’s Britomart Country Club as the Matua Britomart Cricket Club (MBCC).

“It’s the place to hang out, enjoy a drink and watch all the action through the 44 days of the Cup – it’s a ‘day on the cricket village green’ experience,” says a Matua spokesperson.

Hung from the roof are an array of over a hundred stylistic cricket bats.  And the walls are draped with Matua inspired artist tapestries in Matua’s signature teal colour. Country and village green bunting frames the viewing area, which is furnished with Matua branded beanbags and deckchairs. Matua has also installed a 1950s-style cricket scoreboard on the corner of Galway and Gore streets. 

As part of the activation, Matua will also be hosting cricket legends Sir Ian Botham, Sir Richard Hadlee, and, Jeff “Thommo” Thomson at a special event on 23 March.

And in an effort to also appeal to a younger audience, Matua also had artist Greg Straight design a poster in his classic laid back ‘kiwi cool’ style.

“It’s inspired by New Zealand’s summer and the ICC Cricket World Cup –  a clash of cricket, urban and seaside living plus native flora and fauna,” says the spokesperson.

Official ICC Cricket World Cup sponsor KFC teamed up with MediaWorks’ The Rock radio station and is running a few campaign competitions. One started on the 6 February and is called ‘KFC and The Morning Rumble’s First XI’. The station encouraged listeners to upload their office cricket pictures and videos to win a ticket to the New Zealand vs. Australia game at Eden Park on the 28th of February. Playing ball, the station also uploaded its own version of office cricket, which ripped off the US version of the TV series, The Office.

As it says on the website, “Thanks to our mates KFC, we’re pulling together a team of 11 lads to watch New Zealand take on our nosey neighbours, Australia, at Eden Park on Feb 28th.”

The station is currently running another weekly competition where listeners text ‘KFC’ to the station, along with their details and The Morning Rumble choose someone who has text during the week to bring them into the studio for a game they call “tossers” with a chance to win game tickets.

“We’ll toss a coin, and you have to guess what it will land on (heads or tails). Guess correctly, and you win the tickets then and there. Guess wrong, and you’ll have to face a consequence before we give you the tickets. Horrible consequences, like being locked in a room listening to Rog’s laugh on repeat, or watching Doully throw a cricket ball through your window.”

ANZ has continued its ‘Dream Big’ campaign and an ANZ spokesperson says it has been making cricket dreams come true through for cricket fans around the country since the beginning of the World Cup with ANZ Field Your Dream.

“ANZ’s first dream delivery took us to Auckland to meet two young cricket mad brothers, Kazik and Lukaz Swain. The eight- and ten-year-old brothers arrived home in January to find their backyard transformed by ANZ into a professional-grade pitch and Blackcaps Brendon McCullum, Mitchell McClenaghan, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori and bowling coach Shane Bond, standing ready to play. The next stop was to honour 80-year-old Richard Atkins for his 66 years of service to Taradale Cricket Club. The delivery involved a surprise unveiling to Atkins of an 11-metre ‘Wall of Fame’, custom-built to house an extensive collection of Taradale Cricket Club memorabilia generously collected by Atkins since he joined the club in 1950. Third up was a visit to Waiau, north Canterbury, where local farmer Dave Kelly was doing his best to revive cricket. More than 30 kids attend his weekly training sessions and three junior teams are involved in the local competition, but were having to travel miles to play as their local oval had fallen into a sad state. ANZ surprised Kelly with a new pitch, a spruced up pavilion, a ton of gear and plenty of seating for people to watch the kids play.”

ANZ says each dream delivery is captured in a short video, which has been taking off on social media.

“These, along with the ANZ Cricket Poem advert “Dream Big” have had close to 700,000 views and 802,000 likes, shares and comments – reaching almost all New Zealand Facebook users,” an ANZ spokesperson said. The campaign is being run by True and Sputnik. 

As well as hosting a beach cricket competition in earlier at four popular beaches in New Zealand, Hyundai is currently running a competition, which started in mid February and finishes mid March and might see a lucky punter heading off to the cricket final in Melbourne.

“Hyundai New Zealand is also running a competition from mid-February to mid-March where customers can go into the draw to win a trip to the highly anticipated cricket final in Melbourne. All they need to do is test drive a Hyundai,” says Hyundai New Zealand general manager Andy Sinclair.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has also jumped on the cricket bandwagon offering Fanzone, a family-friendly space for folks to enjoy 47 of the 49 tournament matches live on a big screen on behalf of Auckland Council. The company transformed Takutai Square into an “urban village green”.

“The Fanzone provides a great opportunity for residents and visitors to Auckland to take part in the overall tournament experience and watch matches being played across New Zealand and Australia in a relaxed setting,” says ATEED chief executive Brett O’Riley.

The Blackcaps were also be officially welcomed to Auckland at the Fanzone at 3.30pm on February 25, with fans able to meet the team before they took on Australia three days later at Eden Park.

The organisation also organised a “Fan Trail” for each of the three Auckland games on 28 February, 7 March and 14 March with themed entertainment based on the competing countries.

“Fan Trail ‘dressers’ will be dressing the crowd in the participating teams’ colours for free, and encouraging walkers to join the parade of fans along the Great North Road section of the trail from 1pm, led by different musical performers on each game day,” ATEED marketing communications executive Alistair Gray says.

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