Jockey announced its sponsorship of the All Blacks and All Blacks Sevens teams early this year and gathered together a host of buff professional rugby players to parade about in their gruts for the black and white launch campaign. Now it’s added some colour—and given a cheeky nod to its support of the ‘boys’—for a campaign leading into the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship.
Despite what many Kiwis think, Jockey is actually a US brand and it launched an ad last year along similar supportive lines with the end line ‘be good to your manhood’. And an old Jockey ad from New Zealand promoting its hi-tech 13 piece Y-front shows that the brand has long been focusing on the idea of support in this part of the world, too.
Will Radford, Pacific Brands’ NZ marketing and category manager, says “it’s a well-known fact that the boys need support” and this outdoor campaign, which was created by Host Sydney with help from Augusto and Spark PR & Activate, was done as part of the first shoot.
Radford couldn’t discuss specific Jockey sales figures, but he says the sponsorship has been hugely successful so far.
“It’s definitely given us a lot of market share and joining with one of New Zealand’s biggest brands has elevated our brand in terms of top of mind perception. Jockey is already a household name but it’s become a brand of choice.”
In addition to giving it more cachet among consumers, he says the All Black association has also influenced retailers, with the launch campaign getting a lot of support from the trade and big share of shelf-space. He says the sponsorship also played a key role in launching into the brand into a new channel: grocery.
“We’ve just launched Jockey into Progressive and that’s been really well received.”
He says the addition of colour for this campaign is a great way to showcase its new season range. And it also showcases its new products through New Zealand Fashion Week. So will we be seeing a few of the boys sashaying down the catwalk in their unmentionables? Radford couldn’t comment, but it seems like a good fit.
Jockey is a mid-range sponsor of the All Blacks, so Radford says it’s incumbent on the brand to make the most of the sponsorship and, in addition to its above the line campaigns, it also invests in significant PR and below-the-line activation and tries to ensure the sponsorship is leveraged year-round through instore promotions.
It’s not clear whether Jockey has a separate ‘activation’ deal with the other competing nations in the Rugby Championship to pull down the All Blacks’ pants and get the brand extra exposure. But it should.
Pacific Brands, which sells a range of other brands including Bonds, Holeproof, Stussy, Diesel, Slazenger and Mooks, announced a change to its New Zealand operations in 2011, with the design and marketing team moving to Melbourne. It has recently changed its structure again, and, because the Jockey sponsorship was such a key area, the marketing manager role has been brought back to New Zealand to support and drive the brand in the NZ market (Radford has stayed on, although his role has changed from sales and marketing to a sole marketing focus).