Field of dreams? BNZ puts rugby players in the money chair

Having a bank tell you to be good with money seems to be a tough pill for many to swallow. But when those who are held up as idols tell you, it has a lot more weight. And that’s exactly what BNZ is trying to tap into by getting past and present Super Rugby players to open up and talk about financial concerns, goals and advice. 


BNZ’s ‘Be Good With Money’ campaign has been a bit all over the place since it launched, and this fairly serious, earnest and refreshingly open effort is basically the polar opposite of the jauntily morbid musical number about working til’ you die. But Colenso BBDO’s managing director Nick Garrett says the sentiment is pretty simple and it fits perfectly with the bank’s vision. 

“Obviously BNZ spends a considerable amount of money on sponsoring the Super XV and one of the hardest things in our game at the moment is finding ways to leverage corporate sponsorships really well and apply the brand platform to it. The mantra of ‘be good with money’ permeates through every aspect of BNZ’s business and its staff, and so rather than doing another ra-ra Super XV ad, we wanted to make it come from the same platform and show that sometimes these big stars we look up to on the field are fallible like the rest of us off it. Perhaps more than most.”






Professional athletes are certainly not renowned for their fiscal prudence. In fact, Garrett says a study of professional football players in the UK showed that since the premier league began and salaries went through the roof, an amazing 60 percent of them were shown to be broke five years after they stopped playing. Similar issues exist in professional rugby (NZ Herald rugby writer Gregor Paul wrote a great article about this recently following on from the New Zealand Rugby Union’s announcement of a $3.2 million profit—and the ensuing pay rises—in the same week that three young players hit the news for all the wrong reasons). There are now a host of people working alongside players to help them deal with the extra money and attention and prepare them for life outside sport, and Garrett says part of the idea was to show that these professional players, despite their healthy incomes and apparent on-field invincibility, have the same financial worries as the fans. 

“It’s a nice powerful way to use a sponsorship and get a new generation of people thinking about money,” he says. 

Mark Dunmore, BNZ’s head of marketing, retail, says the campaign, which was shot by Farmer Clark, is a great substantiator of the brand. 

The bank’s national sponsorships play an important role in demonstrating what it means to be the bank for New Zealand and how we are helping New Zealand be good with money. It’s great to be able to leverage our Super Rugby sponsorship to support our brand and continue our story in a very relevant manner.”

The players featured are Tamati Ellison, Luke Braid, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Andre Taylor and Reuben Thorne. And the campaign is being run on TV and in stadium media, Adshels and full bus wraps to drive people to the full interviews online, where points raised in each interview are addressed and advice is offered to those who might find themselves in a similar situation.


ECD:  Steve Cochran

Creative Director:  Terry Williams-Willcock

Creative:  Ben Polkinghorne

Producer: Jen Storey/Serena Fountain Jones

GAD: Jo Underdown

AM: Nick O’Donnell

Project Manager:  Arielle Zadok

Head of Planning:  Andy McLeish

Production: Farmer Clark (Simon Clark and Alison Farmer)

Producer:  Angela Hovey

Sponsorship Manager: Kurt Tyson

Sponsorship Associate: Joanna Leyland

Campaign Manager: Kris Hansen

Head of Marketing Communications: Rob Cooke

Head of Retail:  Mark Dunmore

CMO: Craig Herbison

About Author

Comments are closed.